Crude oil closed a choppy session modestly lower on Thursday amid continuing demand concerns as traders considered a full slate of economic and corporate reports.
Light sweet crude oil for June delivery ended the day at $50.56, down 41 cents on the session. Prices fell as low as $50.21 earlier in the session after earlier hitting as high as $51.94.
The dollar rebounded against other majors on Thursday in New York, moving away from two-week lows against the euro and the pound. Meanwhile, the buck extended its comeback versus the yen. Commodities often trade opposite the dollar.
On the economic front, a Commerce Department report showed that personal income fell 0.3 percent in March following a 0.2 percent decrease in February. Economists had been expecting a slightly more modest decrease in income of about 0.2 percent.
The Commerce Department added that personal spending fell 0.2 percent in March following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in the previous month. Spending had been expected to edge down 0.1 percent compared to the 0.2 percent increase originally reported for February.
The U.S. Labor Department revealed that initial jobless claims came in at 631,000 for the week ended April 25, down 14,000 from last week's revised total of 645,000.
The report released by the Institute for Supply Management - Chicago showed that the index of activity in the manufacturing sector rose to 40.1 in April from 31.4 in March, although a reading below 50 indicates a contraction in the sector. Economists had expected a more modest increase to a reading of 35.0.
On Wednesday, an Energy Information Administration report showed crude oil inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels in the week ended April 24. Economists predicted a more modest build of 1.8 million barrels.
Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels last week. Experts predicted a build of 900,000 barrels.
For comments and feedback: contact email@example.com