Member access

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersVideosCalendar 

OIL FUTURES : Nymex Crude Drops Below $98/Bbl After Jobs Data

05/04/2012 | 12:18pm US/Eastern

--Crude oil plummets below $98/bbl for first time since February

--Weak US jobs data tip market lower, though bearish signs have been building

--Futures down 10% from recent highs

 
   By Dan Strumpf and Ben Lefebvre 
   Of  
 

U.S. crude-oil futures plunged below $98 a barrel for the first time since February, giving up more than $4 after a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report.

Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery recently traded $4.36, or 4.2%, lower at $98.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil on ICE Futures Europe fell $3.88, or 3.3%, to $112.22 a barrel.

The benchmark U.S. contract tipped below $100 a barrel in the aftermath of the jobs report, then continued its slide through the morning.

The Labor Department said U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 115,000 in April, less than the gain of 168,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. The unemployment rate fell a tenth of percentage point to 8.1%.

Employment data in the U.S., the world's biggest oil consumer, is a closely watched indicator of fuel and oil demand. Weak employment data usually correlate with lackluster demand as fewer motorists travel to work or take vacations.

The jobs report, though disappointing, "wasn't catastrophic," said Andy Lebow, senior vice president of energy futures at Jefferies Bache. But it came on the heels of downbeat economic data from both the U.S. and Europe and further erodes confidence in the broader economy.

"The global economy has given indication for weeks that it's slowing down," he said.

Earlier this week, Spain disclosed that it is officially in a recession, while a survey of economic activity in the euro zone in April found a faster contraction than previously thought.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has increased production to 10 million barrels a day in recent months. And oil inventories in the U.S. continue to swell, rising 10% over the last 10 weeks amid weak demand for crude oil.

Nymex crude-oil futures have fallen more than 10% since hitting a recent settlement high of $109.77 a barrel in late February. Brent crude oil, the European benchmark, has seen an even steeper fall, dropping more than 11% from its recent high earlier this year.

The U.S. jobs data also follow two months of weaker-than-expected employment growth. Traders who thought that the earlier figures were an exception are now worrying that they may be the rule, said Jason Schenker, energy analyst at Prestige Economics.

"If anyone had an inkling of bearish sentiment, today's the day to pull out fast," he said.

Front-month June reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, recently fell 9.11 cents, or 3%, to $2.9589 a gallon. June heating oil fell 9.89 cents, or 3.2%, to $2.9880 a gallon.

-By Dan Strumpf, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2818; dan.strumpf@dowjones.com.

Latest news
Date Title
<1m ago MMI : Aditya Birla Group to enter health insurance business
<1m ago High-speed rail fares to be based on previous year's data
<1m ago GREEN PLAINS : Nebraskans fear repeat of rail slowdown
<1m ago LENOVO : Socialbakers Launches Social Media Benchmark
1m ago HUB : blames poor US rail service for intermodal volume loss
3m ago OOREDOO : marathon offers QR1m prizes
8m ago TATA STEEL : Steel plants face industrial action threat
8m ago EASYJET : Workers in street protest
8m ago KODA : A DOG-LOVING Nebraska trucker has taken a lost seven-stone bull...
8m ago FINISH LINE : Double win for Finish Line
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
DIGITAL RIVER : Announces Agreement to be Acquired by Investor Group Led by Siris Capital Group for $26.00 per Share in Cash
EDREAMS ODIGEO : Statement responding to BA and Iberia statement
4IMPRINT : Full Year Expectations Underpinned By Strong Third Quarter
ATLANTIS RESOURCES : Raises GBP5.0 Million In Discounted Placing (ALLISS)
MERIT MEDICAL SYSTEMS : posts 3Q profit
Most Read News
1d ago MATSON : Shipping company pleads guilty in molasses spill
1d ago HEARTLAND EXPRESS : 2014 Q3 Earnings Release
1d ago APPLE : Time for all Apple products to enter China
10h ago PFIZER : Reports Vaccine Candidate Data
1d ago Fannie Mae settles shareholder lawsuit for $170 million
Most recommended articles
1h agoDJTHYSSENKRUPP : Denies in Talks to Sell Marine Systems to Rheinmetall
6h ago Russian government approves law to clamp down on offshore tax sheltering
6h ago Greybull Capital buys UK's Monarch
6h ago DEUTSCHE BANK LAWYER FOUND DEAD IN APPARENT NY SUICIDE : Wsj
7h ago Areva-Siemens raises claim to $4.4 billion over Finnish reactor delays
Dynamic quotes  
ON
| OFF