Oil prices went up Thursday on speculation that global central banks will bolster stimulus after downbeat economic data.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims in the week ending May 11 increased 32,000 to 360,000, the highest level in six weeks, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Price Index dropped 0.4 percent in April, as a sharp decline in gasoline prices offset a slight increase in food prices.
Separately, U.S. privately-owned housing starts in April plunged 16.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853, 000, the lowest level since November last year, the Commerce Department said.
Those weak economic data sparked expectation that more actions will be taken by major central banks.
The U.S. dollar retreated against most of major currencies on Thursday, after a string of U.S. data fell short of expectations. A weaker U.S. currency increased the appeal of dollar-denominated oil as an investment.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery gained 86 cents, or 0.91 percent, to settle at 95.16 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for June delivery went up 12 cents, or 0.11 percent, to close at 103.8 dollars a barrel.