NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil dropped to near US$97 a barrel Thursday as U.S. unemployment claims rose more than expected.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery fell 72 cents to US$97.22 a barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil is still up more than $5 for the month of January, making it the biggest monthly increase since August.
The U.S. government said the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week, although it remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring. A separate report showed that consumer spending slowed in December when compared with November.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 33 cents to US$114.77 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex: wholesale gasoline lost four cents to US$3 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil was down one cent at US$3.10 a gallon and natural gas fell eight cents to $3.26 per 1,000 cubic feet.
(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE)