Michael Galvis: Oil Prices Fall to $41.80 a Barrel.

LONDON (Reuters) — Oil prices fell Thursday, pressured by more gloomy U.S. economic data and swelling stockpiles in the world’s top energy consumer.

U.S. crude fell 36 cents to $41.80 a barrel by 12:30 a.m. ET. London Brent crude rose 67 cents to $45.57 a barrel.

U.S. unemployment rose to a record peak in mid-January, while new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for the fifth month in a row.

The recession has cut demand for fuel and contributed to the biggest four-month buildup in U.S. crude stockpiles since 1990.

“Holding above $40 will become increasingly difficult as reportage enumerates evidence of contracting demand,” John Kilduff, senior vice president at MF Global in New York, said in a research note.

Crude inventories continued their climb last week, rising by a higher-than-expected 6.2 million barrels nationwide, according to government data Wednesday.

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