Is the Top in for Crude?

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Crude oil prices fell on Thursday after an increase in new U.S. claims for unemployment benefits reinforced concerns about sputtering economic growth in the top global oil consumer.

U.S. initial jobless claims rose to its highest level in four months last week, a third consecutive rise, suggesting the labor market recovery lost some steam in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the highest since November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

"The jobless claims added to the pressure after the Bank of Japan's decision to pump money created a big rally in the dollar and U.S. debt in a safe-haven play," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

The Bank of Japan on Thursday said it would inject about $1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years, pushing the dollar up sharply versus the yen as U.S. Treasury debt prices also advanced.

Brent crude futures crude fell $1.16 to $105.95 a barrel, having fallen to a 2013 low at $105.73..

U.S. light, sweet crude was down $1.47 at $92.98 a barrel, having fallen to $92.56, the lowest intraday price since March.

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