- Crude oil futures edged lower during early European trading hours on Friday, but still remained within close distance of a four-month high as the release of globally positive U.S. data on Thursday lent support to the dollar.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in April traded at USD102.62 a barrel during European morning trade, down 0.13%.

The April contract settled down 0.09% on Thursday to end at USD102.75 a barrel.

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD100.31 a barrel, the low from February 18 and resistance at USD103.28 a barrel, the high from February 19.

The Department of Labor on Thursday said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell by 3,000 to 336,000, slightly below expectations for a decline of 4,000.

The Labor Department also said U.S. consumer prices rose 1.6% on a year-over-year basis in January, in line with forecasts. Consumer prices were 0.1% higher from a month earlier, also matching forecasts.

Core consumer prices, which strip out food and energy costs, were also up 1.6% on a year-over-year basis and 0.1% from the previous month.

However, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index deteriorated to minus 6.3 this month from January’s reading of 9.4. Analysts had expected the index to inch down to 8.0 in February.

The data came after Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting indicated that that the current pace of its decrease in bond purchases would remain unchanged, so long as the economy shows signs of improvement.

But oil prices found support after the Energy Information Administration said crude oil stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels last week, below expectations for an increase of 2.1 million barrels, after a 3.3 million rise the previous week.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for April delivery edged down 0.10% to trade at USD110.19 a barrel, with the spread between the Brent and crude contracts standing at USD7.57 a barrel.

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