NEW YORK, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices dropped Thursday as traders took profit of the previous day's gains.
Prices gained the most in a month on Wednesday as official figure revealed that U.S. crude inventories fell unexpectedly last week.
U.S. crude inventories dropped 1.8 million barrels to 397.6 million barrels for the week ended May 2, said the Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, Wednesday. Supplies were projected to rise 1. 25 million barrels.
Analysts say that even with the pullback of last week, stockpiles are still very high now. The current level of crude inventories is 2.1 million barrels higher than one year ago.
The market also fell on an obvious easing of tensions over the Ukraine crisis.
On the economic front, China's exports were up 0.9 percent year on year in April and imports rose 0.8 percent, both rebounding from big slumps in the prior months, Chinese customs data showed on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits last week dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 319,000, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The latest figure was better than expected.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery moved down 51 cents to settle at 100.26 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for June delivery lost 9 cents to close at 108.04 dollars a barrel.