NEW YORK, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. oil price was little changed Thursday amid upbeat business inventories and downbeat retail sales and jobs data.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that the country's retail sales decreased 0.4 percent in January, falling short of market estimates.
The Labor Department said the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims rose 8,000 to 339,000 in the week ending Feb. 8, also dampening the market.
The four-week moving average, a clearer gauge of trend, stood at 336,750, increasing 3,500 from the previous week's revised average of 333,250, it said.
However, U.S. business inventories came out better than expected in December.
The Commerce Department said in a separate report that inventories, a key component of gross domestic product changes, increased 0.5 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November.
Increased demand for heating oil due to frigid weather in the United States also supported crude prices. The fuel inventories of the United States, which includes heating oil and diesel, fell in recent weeks.
Global supplies fell by 290,000 barrels a day in January, to 92. 1 million barrels a day, on lower nonOPEC output, the International Energy Agency said Thursday in its oil market report for February.
Light, sweet crude for March delivery edged down 2 cents to settle at 100.35 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for March delivery lost 6 cents to close at 108.73 dollars a barrel.