Crude Rises for Second Day


"Better-than-expected jobs data, lower inventories push crude higher."

Crude oil rose the most in more than three weeks as applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped more than forecast, easing concern about the labor market amid other signals the economy is slowing.

Oil jumped as much as 2% after the Labor Department in Washington reported initial jobless claims fell for the first time in a month in the week ended Aug. 21. The S&P 500 Index fluctuated after yesterday’s gain and the dollar fell against the euro, boosting commodities as an alternative investment.

"The four horsemen that matter to oil are all galloping in the same direction today, with a stronger stock market, weaker dollar, better-than-expected jobs and lower Cushing inventories," said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Washington.

Crude oil for October delivery rose $1.01, or 1.4%, to $73.53 a barrel at 11:34 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures have dropped 11% since Aug. 3. They have risen 2.9% in the past year.

Jobless claims declined by 31,000 last week to 473,000. The median estimate of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast the figure would drop to 490,000.

The S&P 500 gained 0.72 points to 1,056.05. The DJIA fell 2.2 points to 10,057.86.

The dollar traded at $1.2706 per euro, down 0.4% from $1.2659 yesterday.

The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities advanced 0.8% to 263.99, the first increase in seven days. Seventeen of the commodities gained, led by copper, heating oil and gasoline.

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