Oil posted its lowest close in more than a week as investors sought to avoid being caught on the wrong side of the jobless claims number scheduled for release tomorrow.

Crude markets reversed an early rally that was driven by an initial sense higher-than-expected unemployment figures could open a path for the Federal Reserve to take a less forceful approach to interest rate hikes. Sentiment turned sour as traders shifted to capture gains amid an uncertain macro environment. 

Investors are now waiting to see what Friday’s payroll report will bring.

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Locking in proceeds and a general lack of risk appetite factored into Thursday’s late decline, said Bart Melek, managing director and global head of commodity strategy at TD Securities.

Despite US macro headwinds, some prominent market watchers have a bullish outlook with demand typically rising moving into summer, with top trader Trafigura Group expecting Brent to hit US$90 a barrel by midyear. 


  • WTI for April delivery fell 94 cents to settle at US$75.72 a barrel in New York.
  • Brent for May settlement dropped US$1.07 to settle at US$81.59 a barrel.