U.S. jobless claims' downward drive along with the deal achieved by Greece and its international creditors helped propel crude oil futures toward a third consecutive day of gains on Thursday, according to Bloomberg.
For week ended February 4, unemployment benefit applications fell by 15,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Greece and its private creditors reached a deal on Thursday to help the Aegean nation stave off defaulting on its financial obligations, some of which are due as soon as next month.
"The jobs data showed the U.S. economy is definitely looking better than it was, and it's providing some strength to oil," research director Kyle Cooper with IAF Advisors in Houston told Bloomberg. "Greece is probably the driving factor for the market's rally."
At 2:41 p.m. on Thursday, crude oil futures increased 1.15 percent, a $1.35 lift to $118.55 per barrel.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the decrease in jobless claims fuels speculation that the U.S., host of the globe's biggest economy and the largest consumer of oil in the world, is recovering nicely from the deep recession that began in 2008.
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