NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Crude oil futures broke a 10-day winning streak, settling under $83 a barrel as investors took profits on Thursday.
A stronger U.S. dollar pressured energy prices after a lower-than-expected rise in
initial jobless claims lifted hopes that the Labor Department's
would show tapering job losses -- a key sign that the U.S. economic recovery is on track.
The crude oil contract for February delivery shed 52 cents, or 0.6%, to settle at $82.66 a barrel.
The dollar index, meanwhile, showed the greenback up 0.6% against a basket of foreign currencies.
Shares across the oil sector weakened alongside crude futures. The NYSE Arca Oil index was off by 0.1% and shares of integrated oil companies were lower across the board at the close of trading on Thursday.
closed down by 22 cents, or 0.3%, at $69.80;
lost 30 cents, or 0.4%, to $79.33; and
shed 21 cents, or 0.4%, to $52.80. The
United States Oil Fund
ETF finished down by 25 cents or 0.6%, at $40.72.
Shares of refiners fared slightly better. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector was up 0.01%.
Superior Well Services
were all higher at the close by 0.5%, 0.7% and 5%, respectively.
Natural gas futures for February delivery shed 20 cents, or 3.4%, to settle at $5.81 per million British thermal units even after the Energy Information Administration said natural gas inventories declined by 153 billion cubic feet last week, which was in line with analysts' estimates.
Shares of natural gas companies ended the trading session mixed.
shares were up by 7 cents, or 0.2%, at $28.72 at the close while
closed lower by 0.6% and 0.2%.
Elsewhere on the Nymex, heating oil for February delivery lost nearly 2 cents to settle at $2.18 a gallon and the February reformulated gasoline contract shed nearly one penny to finish at $2.13 a gallon.
--Written by Melinda Peer in New York