Inventories of crude oil dropped more than expected as oil futures climbed Thursday, Bloomberg reports.
Also larger than expected was the decline in applications for unemployment benefits, which benefited oil futures as well. Though stockpiles dropped 15,000 barrels last week to 370.3 million, supplies had been pegged to increase 1.7 million barrels. The regime of Bashar al-Assad of Syria now is under U.S. sanctions as the leader came down harder on protestors who have been demonstrating for the past eight weeks.
"There is less risk aversion," Hannes Loacker, an analyst with Raiffeisen Bank AG in Vienna, told the news service. "Downward potential is really limited because we still have these tensions in the Middle East-North Africa region and healthy demand growth from emerging markets."
Crude oil futures closed Thursday down 0.78 percent, an 0.88 cent reduction to $111.42 per barrel.
"There is a clear, urgent need for additional supplies on a more competitive basis to be made available to refiners to prevent a further tightening of the market," according to an emailed statement on Thursday from the International Energy Agency. "The rise in oil prices since September is affecting the economic recovery."
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