As reported by Wall Street Journal’s Reza Amanat:
With a lack of other fundamental news, market participants will be monitoring U.S. data on unemployment, due Thursday morning in New York, for indications that high oil prices are indeed damaging the fragile economic recovery and crude demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
“Focus today is likely to be on the U.S. jobless claims as the market tries to judge weather the recent inconclusive flow of U.S. statistics is indicating the beginning of a [economic] slowdown or not,” said Filip Petersson, commodity strategist of SEB Commodity Research.
In mid morning, the front-month July Brent contract on London’s ICE futures exchange was up 67 cents, or 0.6%, at $112.97 a barrel.
The front-month June contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was trading up 52 cents or 0.5%, at $100.62 per barrel.
Wednesday’s DOE data showed U.S. crude inventories remained flat last week, while the consensus forecast was that they would climb. The headline figure helped Nymex light, sweet crude futures climb back above $100 a barrel for the first time in a week.