Oil prices advanced Thursday as orders for U.S. durable goods climbed in June.
American durable goods orders jumped 4.2 percent in June on stronger demand for commercial aircraft, the U.S. Commerce Department said. The fresh figure signaled the fourth consecutive increase in durable goods orders and far exceeded market's consensus of rising 1.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 343,000 in the week ending July 20, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 336,000, the U. S. Labor Department reported Thursday.
The fresh figure was slightly above analysts' expectation of rising to 341,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 336, 000, but it showed little change in the U.S. labor market.
Corporate earnings continued to be the focus. General Motors on Thursday reported second-quarter revenue of 39.1 billion dollars compared to 37.6 dollars in the same period of last year.
U.S. crude inventories data also underpinned the oil prices. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday crude supplies continued to fall last week. U.S. crude inventories shrank 2.8 million barrels to 364 million barrels for the week ended July 19.
Light, sweet crude for September delivery gained 7 cents, to settle at 105.46 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for September delivery went up 46 cents, to close at 107. 65 dollars a barrel.