Commodity Corner: Economic Reports Pull Crude
Oil futures declined Thursday after reports showed slow economic growth in the U.S.
Crude futures for July delivery fell from a two-week high Thursday to settle at $100.23 a barrel. The $1.09-drop came after the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy grew a mere 1.8 percent during the first quarter of the year—much lower than expectations.
Oil prices were also pressured by an increase in the number of applications filed for unemployment benefits. The U.S. Labor Department reported that applications for jobless benefits rose by 10,000 for the week ended May 21.
The intraday range for oil prices was $99.61 to $101.90 a barrel.
Front-month natural gas futures plummeted Thursday after the Energy Department reported an increase in stockpiles. The U.S. Energy Department claimed that inventories for the week ending May 20 increased by 105 billion cubic feet to 2.024 trillion cubic feet. The June contract, which expired at the end of floor trading, settled at $4.335 per thousand cubic feet. It bottomed out at $4.195 and peaked at $4.14 during Thursday's session.
Meanwhile, gasoline prices added 3 cents to settle at $3.05 a gallon. June contract prices for RBOB gasoline fluctuated between $3.01 and $3.06.