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Crude oil futures edge lower, eyes on U.S. GDP data

CommoditiesFeb 28, 2014 02:53AM ET
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Crude oil under pressure ahead of U.S. data - Crude oil futures edged lower during early European trading hours on Friday, as markets eyed the release of U.S. economic growth data later in the day, while Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the bank will continue tapering its bond purchases.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in April traded at USD102.06 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.34%.

The April contract settled down 0.19% on Thursday to end at USD102.40 a barrel.

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD101.03 a barrel, the low from February 25 and resistance at USD103.45 a barrel, the high from February 24.

The Department of Labor on Thursday said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 3,000 to 336,000, slightly below expectations for a decline of 4,000.

Oil prices came under pressure on Thursday, after the U.S. Commerce Department said that total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, declined by a seasonally adjusted 1% last month, compared to expectations for a 1.5% drop.

Orders for durable goods in December were revised down to a 5.3% decline from a previously reported drop of 4.2%.

Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, increased by a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in January, compared to forecasts for a 0.3% decline. Core durable goods orders in December were revised down to a 1.9% decline from a previously reported drop of 1.3%.

Orders for core capital goods, a key barometer of private-sector business investment, rose 1.7% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.2% decline and after falling 1.8% in December.

Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to calculate quarterly economic growth, dipped 0.8% in January, compared to forecasts for a 1% decline, after rising 0.3% in the preceding month.

Meanwhile, speaking in testimony to the Senate banking committee in Washington, Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday said the central bank will probably continue tapering its asset purchases while tracking data to figure how much recent softness in the economy is due to the weather.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for April delivery edged down 0.07% to trade at USD108.89 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD6.83 a barrel.

Crude oil futures edge lower, eyes on U.S. GDP data

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