Crude Prices Fluctuate Ahead of Drilling Data

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Crude Prices Fluctuate Ahead of Drilling Data

US crude rose morning trading aided by a report by the US Labor Department showing that nonfarm payrolls for April rose faster than expected indicating an increase in demand for gasoline as employees drive to workplaces.

“The employment data is providing some support after a string of negative news,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy, told Bloomberg by phone.

“Changes to payrolls have a measurable impact on energy demand, especially gasoline.”

Brent on the other hand fell in a choppy trading session after the formation of, Ana, the first named storm to mark the start of the hurricane season.

Light sweet crude for April delivery climbed 52 cents or 0.6% in morning trading to $59.6 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The most active US oil contract looked set for a 0.5% weekly gain this week-its 8th straight weekly growth.

Also supporting the rally was data from China released on Friday showing that China’s crude imports hit a record high in April boosted by low prices.

Data from the government on Thursday also showed that US inventories fell for the first time in more than 17 weeks last week sparking a rally that helped recover losses from earlier in the week and spurred the benchmark contracts to 2015 highs.

Brent Futures, the global benchmark, edged lower in morning trading but most recently broke even for the day but remained on course for a 1.6% weekly decline- its first weekly fall in more than 5 weeks.

“This week has been a lesson in volatility, as Libya reminded us that their production was still uncertain, and U.S. crude inventories dropped, but because of lower imports,” Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research, told Market Watch.

To contact the reporter of the story: Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com