CrudeOil futures traded lower in the early part of Friday’s Asian session despite another positive data point pertaining to the U.S. labor market.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for June delivery fell 0.34% to USD96.06 per barrel in Asian trading Friday after settling down 0.63% at USD96.01 a barrel on Thursday in the U.S.
Oil traded lower despite some decent U.S. data points. In U.S. economic news, the U.S. Labor Department said initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 18,000 last week to a five-year low of 324,000. Analysts expected a reading of 345,000 claims.
Separately, the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $38.8 billion in the first quarter.
The buoyant jobless claims number comes on the heels of last Friday’s stronger-than-expected April jobs report out of the world’s largest economy. With the U.S. labor market apparently improving, traders speculated that the Federal Reserve may begin winding down its quantitative easing program.
Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. economy added 165,000 nonfarm payrolls in April, up from 138,000 in March, whose figure was revised up from 88,000. April's figures far outpaced analysts' forecasts for a 145,000 figure.
Elsewhere, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping that a nuclear Iran could disrupt global oil supply. China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer behind the U.S.
Meanwhile, Brent futures for June delivery rose 0.18% to USD104.29 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange. - investing.com