Despite making gains throughout the week, oil futures were bogged down yet again on June 1 by a unexpectedly bleak economic report.
Light, sweet crude for June delivery fell $2.41, closing at $100.29 per barrel. The Henry Hub made a small drop of $0.04, closing at a final price of $4.63 per thousand cubic feet.
The new wave of U.S. economic data presented several lackluster indicators, including weaker-than-expected job gains. According to ADP the private sector only managed to add 38,000 jobs in May, a sizable drop-off compared with April’s addition of 177,000. The Associated Press noted that last month’s job tally is the lowest on record since September 2010.
On top of falling employment figures, domestic manufacturing also waned. According to the Institute for Supply Management, May displayed the sharpest decline in manufacturing activity since 1984.
"The manufacturing sector was one bright spot for the economy," Phil Flynn, analyst for PFGBest, told the Associated Press. "It was really pushing the economy along. Now we're wondering what's going to be driving things."
Additionally, data shows that consumers are continuing to pull away from the pump. MasterCard SpendingPulse reported that U.S. demand for gasoline fell for the 10th week in a row.
Contact the author, Lauren C. Sjurseth, at email@example.com.
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