Oil prices went down Friday on mixed U.S. economic data, and trader were digesting speeches from Federal Reserve officials.
On the economic front, Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan's final reading of the U.S. consumer confidence index in June stood at 84.1, just slightly lower than a near six-year high in May, beating market consensus of 83. However, the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) declined to 51.6 in June, the largest monthly drop since October 2008, and down from a 14-month high of 58.7 in May, according to the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago.
Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein said on Friday that the September policy-making meeting is a possible time for the central bank to consider winding down its bond buying program.
Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker also noted in a speech Friday that volatility in asset prices should not hinder the economic recovery.
Talks of tapering among Fed officials lifted up the U.S. dollar. A strong greenback decreased the appeal of dollar-priced oil to non-American buyers.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery dropped 49 cents, to settle at 96.56 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for August delivery went down 66 cents, to close at 102 16 dollars a barrel.