New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, dipped to USD108.83 and Brent North Sea crude for April delivery settled at USD125.98 in morning trade.
Economic data from the United States and China continues to be positive:
The US Labor Department said claims for US unemployment benefits had fallen to levels last seen in March 2008. A total of 351,000 initial jobless claims were made last week, a decline of 2,000 from the previous week. The US Commerce Department reported that US economy grew faster than initially believed in Q4-2011 at an annual 3%, even as the Federal Reserve warned of a slower pace this year.
Improved performance from October to December 2011 was due in part to positive contributions from consumer spending and private inventory investments. China's manufacturing activity expanded for the third straight month in February as export orders improved, official data showed Thursday.