Crude oil futures were lower on Friday, as uncertainty over the future of the Federal Reserve's stimulus program continued to dominated markets, ahead of U.S. consumer sentiment data to be released later in the day.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded at USD105.00 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.47%.
The release of mixed U.S. data on initial jobless claims and durable goods orders on Thursday fuelled fresh uncertainty over whether the Fed will start to scale back its bond buying program later this year.
The Labor Department said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week increased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, compared to expectations for an increase of 6,000 to 340,000.
The Commerce Department said orders for long lasting manufactured goods rose by a seasonally adjusted 4.2% in June, compared to expectations for an increase of 1.3%, while vore durable goods orders, which exclude volatile transportation items, were flat in June, compared to expectations for a 0.5% increase.
The Fed’s stimulus program is viewed by many investors as a key driver in boosting the price of commodities as it tends to depress the value of the dollar.
The U.S. is the world’s biggest oil-consuming country, responsible for almost 22% of global oil demand.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for September delivery slid 0.30% to trade at USD107.32 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD2.32 a barrel. - investing.com