NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices gained Thursday on a string of positive U.S. economic data.
The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits last week dropped slightly, the Labor Department said. Data showed in the week ending Sept. 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims fell 5,000 to 305,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 310,000.
Meanwhile, U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an unrevised annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, according to the third and final estimate released by the Commerce Department. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.1 percent.
However, the looming debt limit in Washington also weighed on the oil market.
Continuing uncertainties over whether Washington will raise its debt limit and reach a budget deal for the new fiscal year still put a damper on the market.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Wednesday that the Treasury Department will run out of borrowing capacity no later than Oct. 17, urging Congress to raise the debt limit in a timely manner.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery increased 0.37 U.S. dollar to settle at 103.03 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for November delivery gained 0.89 dollar to close at 109.21 dollars a barrel.