Crude Oil ended Thursday's volatile trading without any gains as investors reacted to a weekly jobless report. Prices settled at $68.12 a barrel, as disappointing news from the labor market outweighed economic optimism from data showing that the U.S. service sector and retail sales improved. Traders are also eyeing news that big Oil producers are increasing output. OPEC is expected to leave output targets unchanged when it next meets on September 9th in Vienna.
U.S. Crude prices have been range bound between $65 to $75 a barrel since the start of August, fluctuating on the latest clues about the speed of an impending economic recovery. However, there's not a whole lot of momentum in the market in either direction. The trend for Crude Oil, which has been down, is still in force this week. Oil prices are not likely to break out of the confines of the current range in the short term, analysts say.