Commodities: Jobs data pushes crude lower

LONDON (ShareCast) - Crude oil futures had their best January in six years, despite ending the last session of the month lower.

Thursday's decline was as a result of profit taking following a higher rise in US jobless claims than had been predicted.

The commodity fell 0.86% to $97.10 per barrel on NYMEX.

Initial weekly unemployment claims rose by 38,000 last week, to reach 368,000, well above the 335,000 expected by the consensus. Economists at Barclays Research, however, believe one needs to look through seasonal volatility.

Heating oil dropped 0.34% to settle at $3.10 per gallon, while natural gas declined 0.45% yo $3.32 per million British thermal units.

Unleaded gas followed suit, down 0.93% to $3.00 per gallon.

In metals, gold suffered a decline on Thursday, rounding offer a lower January overall, with the commodity down 0.96% to $1,663.80 per troy ounce. Overall, the commodity price fell 0.8% in January, its fourth consecutive month heading lower.

Copper also took a hit, down 0.16% to $3.74 per pound.