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Markets News Afternoon: Oil prices plunge 6% in London and New York on dollar and US weekly jobless benefits rise
By Finfacts Team
May 5, 2011 - 5:14 PM

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Oil prices fell almost 6% in London and New York today following a rise in US jobless numbers and a gain in the dollar after the European Central Bank kept rates on hold.

US New Weekly Jobless Claims: In the week ending April 30, the figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 474,000, an increase of 43,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 431,000. The 4-week moving average was 431,250, an increase of 22,250 from the previous week's revised average of 409,000.

The number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 23 was 3,733,000, an increase of 74,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,659,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,700,750, a decrease of 1,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,702,000.

A spring break holiday in New York, a new emergency benefits program in Oregon and car plant shutdowns caused by the earthquake in Japan were the main reasons for the rise, a Labor Department spokesman said.

GM: General Motors Co., the largest US carmaker, today reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as US sales jumped.

Net income more than tripled to $3.37bn, or $1.77 a share, from $1.07bn, or 55 cents, a year earlier, GM said today in a statement.

Revenue jumped 15% to $36.2bn.

US Markets

In New York Thursday, the Dow fell 48 points or 0.38% to 12,676.

The S&P 500 slid 0.16% and the Nasdaq rose 0.35%.

Live US Indices

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 dipped 0.28% Thursday.

In Dublin the ISEQ has dipped 0.59%.

CRH has slid 1.20%; BoI is off 5.38%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Jobless Claims Soar:

Commodities

Crude oil for June delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $102.95 per barrel down $6.29 from Wednesday's close. In London, Brent for June delivery is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $114.24.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.4599 and at £0.8885.

Gold

Gold is trading at $1,491.10 per oz in New York.

The Finfacts Gold Page

Peripheral Debt Unlikely to Harm German Exports - Economist; "Spain is a different issue, but the other three countries are relatively small and they won't hurt German exports much. I don't expect them to to have a huge impact on the German economy anyway. In the Spanish case, that's a little different, Spain is a much stronger importer of German goods," Lars Feld, member of the German Council of Economic Experts told CNBC in a discussion on the impact of peripheral Europe's debt crises. However, he added that in the case of Spain, the German economy would not be too harmed, due to much larger markets in northern Europe and Asia:


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