Brent Tumbles on US Jobs Data

   on April 05 2013 8:54 AM
Crude Oil Barrel
Barrels of crude oil ready to be shipped Reuters

Brent crude oil continued its tumble on Friday morning and fell to 106.40 at 7:23 GMT. The commodity hit a five month low on Thursday after US jobless data fueled fear that the oil consuming giant's economy was not recovering as quickly as originally expected.

The data showed that jobless claims increased last week for the third week in a row, and pointed to a slowing labor market recovery. The jobless claims data coupled with Wednesday's Energy Information Administration report that showed crude inventories in the States at a 22 year high gave investors cause for concern and prompted a sell off.

Also weighing on Brent prices was unexpectedly weak jobless data from Japan which showed slowing job opportunities in the private sector. Following the release of this data, Reuters reported that the Bank of Japan promised to bolster the economy over the next two years by introducing $1.4 trillion into the nation's economy.

Brent found support from the ongoing standoff between the West and Iran over Tehran's nuclear development program. Sanctions designed to cut funding to the program and keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon have long supported Brent prices, but now the two sides are engaging in negotiations to ease the sanctions and build trust.

Although no agreement is expected at this weekend's talks, many consider the act of setting up another meeting as a sign of success.

Moving forward, many are expecting Brent to remain under pressure as global economic data continues to support a weakening demand outlook.

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