RTTNews - With traders doing some profit taking, the price of oil saw some weakness on Thursday after showing a substantial upward move in the previous session. Disappointing employment data inspired some traders to cash in the on yesterday's gains.
After ending Wednesday's trading up nearly $3 a barrel, crude for October delivery ended the session down $0.92 at $72.91 a barrel. At the same, the less active September oil contract edged up $0.12 to $72.54 a barrel in its last day before expiring.
Some selling pressure was generated by the release of a report from the Labor Department showing that initial jobless claims rose to 576,000 in the week ended August 15th from the previous week's revised figure of 561,000.
The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 550,000 from the 558,000 originally reported for the previous week.
However, reports showing unexpected growth in manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region in August as well as a continued increase in leading economic indicators in July helped to keep selling pressure relatively subdued.
The substantial rally seen in the previous session came as traders reacted to the release of a report from the Energy Information Administration showing an unexpected drop in crude oil inventories in the week ended August 14th.
The report showed that crude oil inventories fell by 8.4 million barrels compared to analysts' expectations of an increase of about 1.1 million barrels. Inventories fell to 343.6 million barrels, although they remained above the upper boundary of the average range for this time of year.
Gasoline inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels, but they were still in the upper half of the average range. Distillate stockpiles edged down by 0.7 million barrels, although stockpiles were above the upper boundary of the average range.
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