Drop in US durable goods orders hurts oil prices
Crude oil prices fell slightly in early afternoon trade in New York on Thursday even though the Labor Department reported that new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week, falling by 19,000 claims to 457,000.
The decline came after the Commerce Department said that durable goods order were down 1.1 percent overall in May after orders for aircraft fell nearly 30 percent in the month, although without the declines in the transportation sector, orders were up 0.9 percent in the month.
August contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were down 29 cents to $76.06 per barrel at around 1:30 p.m. local time on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while at last report Brent crude was 16 cents lower to $76.11 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
Nymex July natural gas futures were 5 cents lower to $4.76 per million British thermal units after the US Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas stockpiles were up 81 billion cubic feet last week, at the high end of expectations, to 2.624 trillion cubic feet.
This left US natural gas inventories down 0.5 percent from last year at this time, but 13.3 percent above the five-year average.
Meanwhile, Nymex July gasoline futures were down less than a cent to $2.08 per gallon and July heating oil futures had dropped 2 cents to $2.05 per gallon.
The retail price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States was up slightly overnight to $2,753 per gallon on average nationally.
At the same time the average price for mid-grade gasoline was at $2.922 per gallon, a gallon of premium gasoline cost $3.027 per gallon on average, and the price of a gallon of diesel fuel averaged $2.983 in the US.
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