WTI Light, sweet crude for July delivery recently traded 0.19 lower at 87.63 bbl on the New York Merc. Brent Crude on the ICE futures exchange traded 0.17 lower at 103.30 bbl.

The number of US workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 to 383,000, the Labor Department said Thursday, the largest increase since the first week of April.

The Commerce Department said US gross domestic product increased at a 1.9% annual rate in Q-1, below the previous estimate of 2.2% growth.

Crude Oil prices have fallen by more than 20% since their peak in mid February above 110 bbl, stung by renewed worries about Europe's debt crisis and cooling tensions between Iran and the West.

More recently, economic weakness in the U.S. and slower growth in China have added to concerns of falling Crude Oil use.

A slump in the US would lower demand for energy in the World's largest Oil consumer, and market watchers are already seeing signs of falling fuel use.

Analysts expect US Oil inventories will rise by 100,000 bbls in a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday.

The report, if in line with estimates, would mark the 10th straight week of inventory builds.

The oil market has tumbled in recent days along with stock markets and the euro, as traders flee riskier assets in the face of a deteriorating debt situation in Europe.

Crude Oil prices fell more than 3% Wednesday amid a broad sell off on fears Spain will not be able to save its troubled banks.

The USD hit a 22-month high against the euro. A stronger dollar typically causes a drop in oil prices by making the dollar-denominated commodity more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect gasoline stocks to fall by 600,000 barrels in Thursday's report. Stocks of distillate, which include heating oil and diesel, are expected to fall by 200,000 barrels.

Refinery utilization is expected to rise by 0.4 percentage pt to 88.5% of capacity.

Front-month June reformulated gasoline blend stock, or RBOB, recently traded 0.0178 lower at 2.8404 gal. June heating Oil recently traded 0.59 lower at 2.7339 gal.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.