Crude oil prices saw little change for a second straight session on Thursday, remaining near the $68 per barrel mark. Traders looked ahead to the jobs report on Friday
Light sweet crude for October fell to $67.96, down nine cents on the session. Prices touched as high as $69.40 after earlier hitting as low as $67.66.
The Labor Department's non-farm payroll report is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET tomorrow. Jobs are expected to drop by 225,000 jobs in August, compared to a drop of 247,000 in July. The unemployment rate is expected to inch up to 9.5%, compared to 9.4% a month earlier.
In economic news, the Labor Department reported jobless claims edged down to 570,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 574,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to slip to 564,000 from the 570,000 originally reported for the previous week. The Labor Department's monthly employment situation report is due tomorrow.
Later, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of activity in the service sector rose to 48.4 in August from 46.4 in July, with a reading below 50 indicating a contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting a slightly lower reading of 48.0.
On Wednesday, the Energy Department revealed U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 400,000 barrels in the week ended August 28 to reach 43.4 million barrels. Experts were looking for a drop of about 1.9 million barrels. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 3.0 million barrels last week.
News are provided by InstaForex.