NEW YORK, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices rose on Thursday as market sentiment was bolstered by better-than-expected U.S. job growth in June.
The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for August delivery gained 83 cents to settle at 40.65 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery advanced 1.11 dollars to close at 43.14 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
There will be no regular trading for U.S. oil futures on Friday because of the Independence Day holiday.
Both WTI and Brent futures on Thursday marked their highest settlements since March 6, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Total nonfarm payroll employment in the United States rose by 4.8 million in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday, beating market consensus. The unemployment rate declined to 11.1 percent from 13.3 percent in May. Economists were expecting a rate of 12.4 percent, according to Dow Jones.
The jobs report came one day after data showed a hefty drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.
U.S. crude oil inventories decreased by 7.2 million barrels during the week ending June 26, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts had forecast an average crude supply decline of 2.7 million barrels.