West TX Oil Below $59

U.S. oil prices settled higher after oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. oil rig count fell for the 22nd consecutive week.  The number of rigs drilling for crude in U.S. oilfields fell by 11 in the past week, bringing the total to 668 rigs, compared with 1,528 at the same time last year.

U.S. crude closed up 45 cents, at $59.39 a barrel, supported by job additions in the United States and the formation of the first named storm in the Atlantic ahead of the official start of the hurricane season.

Brent, on the other hand, closed down 15 cents, at $65.39 a barrel after hitting a session high of $66.01.  Supportive, especially to U.S. crude, was news that nonfarm payrolls increased 223,000 in the United States in April, even though March payrolls were revised lower to just 85,000, the least since June 2012.