Oil traded near the highest level in a week in CFDs Platforms after U.S. jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 2008, bolstering optimism economic growth will accelerate in the biggest crude-consuming nation.
Futures surged the most in four months yesterday after the Labor Department said applications for unemployment benefits fell by 34,000 to 407,000 in the week ended Nov.
20. Distillate fuel demand, including diesel used in trucks to transport goods, in the week ended Nov. 19 was 3.9 percent higher than a year ago, an Energy Department report said yesterday.
The January contract was at $83.83 a barrel, down 3 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:54 a.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, it gained $2.61, or 3.2 percent, to $83.86, the highest settlement since Nov. 15. Oil is up about 5.7 percent this year.
Prices pared earlier gains today as the euro weakened for a fourth day against the U.S. dollar on concerns of a widening sovereign debt crisis.
A stronger U.S. currency reduces the appeal of commodities for investors.
Consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy, increased for a fifth month in October as a rebound in incomes spurred purchases at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Commerce Department figures showed yesterday. Incomes were up 0.5 percent.
Brent crude for January settlement was at $85.65 a barrel, down 19 cents, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract added $2.59, or 3.1 percent, to end the session at $85.84 yesterday.
Crude supplies rose 1.03 million barrels to 358.6 million in the week ended Nov. 19, according to the Energy Department report. A 2 million-barrel decrease was forecast, according to the median of 16 analyst responses in a Bloomberg News survey.