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Strong Unemployment Report Sends Oil Prices to Two Month High

Commodities / Crude Oil Mar 07, 2010 - 06:07 AM GMT

By: LiveCharts

Commodities

Oil is among the winners following the surprisingly strong unemployment report released by the government on Friday (March 5).  Jobless claims and unemployment numbers both came in lower than expected for February according to the Labor Department.


US employers slashed just 36,000 jobs during the month of February compared to a forecast of 50,000.  Unemployment held steady at 9.7 per cent compared to analysts predictions of a small increase to 9.8 per cent.

Friday’s data supports recent analyst comments that the economy finally is in recovery with a confirmation of a bottom in the jobs sector.  The job market has been considered by many to be the final piece of signaling a recovery.

The fact that unemployment held steady suggests the longer-term downward progress of employment trends may be ending, and the low number of February jobless claims shows that in the near-term, employers are cutting many jobs.

Oil prices were around $81.39 in New York Mercantile Exchange trade for a barrel of crude for April delivery.  This is the highest price for crude in around seven weeks and crude is pushing its 2010 high from January 11th of $83.95.  Thursdays New York settle price for a barrel of crude was $80.21.

Crude oil prices have moved in very close unison to stocks and economic sentiment for the last year or so.  An improved economy is expected to dramatically increase personal and business consumption of petroleum-based products in the US.

More conservative economists were quick to point out that there is still along way to go to say the US is in full recovery.  However, those same comments were often followed with references to stabilization and reaching the bottom.

Investors in various markets appear ready to call the worst over as equity investors and oil speculators have both been diving into buying mode for much of the day Friday.  As more data comes forward to confirm improvement in the jobs sector, buying interest in higher risk investments should only pick up.

Neil Kokemuller

LiveCharts.co.uk

Neil Kokemuller is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Des Moines Area Community College in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. He has a MBA from Iowa State University. He is also in house stock market commentator at Live Charts UK, where you can find real time charts and share prices .

Copyright © 2010 Live Charts

Please note: The information provided in this article is intended for informational and entertainment purposes, and not as advice for financial decisions or investments. Actions taken on the basis of the information shared is at the sole risk and discretion of the individual. Currency investment poses significant risk of loss.

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