Oil Rises as Ebbing U.S. Jobless Claims Bolster Economic Outlook

Stronger growth in the picture?

Aug. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Oil rose as reports showed fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits and the U.S. trade deficit declined, signaling economic growth may increase in the world’s biggest crude-consuming country.

Futures climbed as much as 0.9 percent after the Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped by 6,000 to 361,000 in the week ended Aug. 4. The U.S. trade gap shrank 11 percent to $42.9 billion in June, the smallest since December 2010, Commerce Department figures showed in Washington.

Prices for single-family homes climbed in most U.S. cities in the second quarter and values nationally jumped the most since 2006 as real estate markets stabilized. The median sales price increased from a year earlier in 110 of 147 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report today. In the first quarter, 74 areas had gains.

Oil retreated earlier as the dollar advanced against the euro on concern the Europe’s economy will deteriorate further. The dollar climbed as much as 0.6 percent. A stronger U.S. currency and weaker euro decrease the appeal of dollar- denominated raw materials as an investment.

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