Oil prices fell from a one-year high on Thursday as a rise in new U.S. jobless claims sent investors seeking safer havens.
U.S. crude oil futures settled down 18 cents at $81.19 a barrel, after touching a one-year high of $82 a barrel on Wednesday. In London, Brent crude fell 18 cents to $79.51 a barrel.
The number of American workers filing new jobless claims rose by 11,000 last week, indicating the labor market remained fragile despite some signs of an economic recovery.
Energy markets have looked to economic data for signs of a rebound in the economy that could bolster flagging oil demand.
Oil isn't getting any lift from the stock markets today as economic data and corporate earnings results are mixed, said Andy Lebow, a broker for MF Global, New York.
The Dow industrials gained on Thursday on strong earnings reports from several components, while the Nasdaq market fell on weakness in Ericsson and other technology names. <.N>
The dollar recovered after a sharp slide against major currencies, as the euro retreated from a 14-month high above $1.50.
It is becoming almost imperative to trade the commodity markets from the perspective of the dollar these days, as nothing else seems to count for very much, MF Global wrote in a research note.
Crude prices jumped on Wednesday after weekly U.S. government data showed a large drop in gasoline inventories over the past week and fuel demand rising about 4 percent year-on-year. But absolute oil inventory levels remained high globally due to slack demand.
For a graphic showing the oil price in various currencies, see: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/109/CMD_OILCUR1009.gif
For a graphic showing gold's price in various currencies, see: http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/109/CMD_GLDCUR1009.gif
(Reporting by Matthew Robinson, Robert Gibbons and Gene Ramos in New York, Ikuko Kurahone in London and Nick Trevethan in Singapore; Editing by Walter Bagley)