NEW YORK, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices continued to drop Thursday as market expected more crude supplies from Libya.
Libya's largest and third-largest ports, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, were reopened Wednesday for crude ships. Market expected 500,000 barrels of Libyan crude to be soon pouring into the market, adding pressure on crude prices.
Libyan production has been severely disrupted for a year as the rebels have blocked several oil ports.
Concerns over a possible disruption in Iraq eased. Despite escalating violence, tensions in the market are fading on signs that crude production from southern Iraq has not been affected.
On the economic front, U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 288,000 in June, said the Labor Department Thursday. The fresh data was much higher than economists' expectations.
Meanwhile, unemployment rate declined unexpectedly from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent in June, the department added.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery moved down 42 cents to settle at 104.06 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery lost 24 cents to close at 111 dollars a barrel.