Oil Drops as U.S. Jobless Claims Hover Near Year’s High
By Moming Zhou on June 28, 2012
Oil fell for the first time in three days as applications for unemployment benefits last week hovered near the highest level of the year, indicating there hasn’t been an increase in commuters using fuel.
Prices dropped as much as 2.3 percent after the Labor Department reported jobless claims of 386,000 in the week ended June 23, in line with the 385,000 median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Economic confidence in the euro area slumped to the lowest level in more than 2 1/2 years in June ahead of a two-day summit of the region’s leaders.
“The economic numbers are not turning around to show anything good and the problems in Europe are not getting better,” said Tariq Zahir, a New York-based commodity fund manager at Tyche Capital Advisors. “The fundamentals are still bearish for oil.”
Crude oil for August delivery dropped $1.64, or 2 percent, to $78.57 a barrel at 10:37 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have fallen 24 percent this quarter, heading for the biggest drop since the final three months of 2008.