Crude oil futures slipped lower on Friday, as investors locked in gains after oil prices rallied on Thursday following the release of upbeat U.S. jobless and supply data.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded at USD107.72 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.09%.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week fell by 24,000 to 334,000, compared to expectations for a drop of 13,000 to 345,000, which sent the dollar rising.
In addition, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 6.9 million barrels last week, compared to expectations for a decline of 2 million barrels.
The U.S. is the world’s biggest oil-consuming country, responsible for almost 22% of global oil demand.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated that monetary policy will remain highly accommodative, even as the central bank starts to pare back its bond buying.
He was speaking in his second day of testimony on monetary policy before the Financial Services Committee in Congress.
On Wednesday, Bernanke said the central bank expects to start tapering bond purchases by the end of the year, but added that there was no “preset course.”
He added that the bank’s bond purchase program could be tapered at a faster pace, slower pace or even temporarily increased depending on economic and financial developments.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for September delivery dipped 0.01% to trade at USD108.68 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD0.96 a barrel. - Investing.com