Oil prices fluctuated around 72 U.S. dollars a barrel on Thursday as investors were uncertain about the pace of economic recovery.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery rose 12 cents to settle at 72.54 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. As September contract expires on Thursday, the more active October contract dropped 92 cents to settle at 72.91 dollars a barrel.
The September contract slipped from a seven-week high after government data showed that new claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly for the second consecutive week, casting a shadow for an economic recovery.
However, oil’s losses were tempered by the news that the index of U.S. leading economic indicators rose for the fourth straight month, showing the wider economy was moving to a better direction.
In London, Brent Crude for October delivery dropped 1.21 dollars to 73.38 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange. (PNA/Xinhua)