Oil settles up as U.S. unemployment rate drops, but crude ends week down 5%

NEW YORK- Oil prices rose about 1% on Friday as an increase in U.S. jobs eased some financial market concerns that a slowing global economy could dent oil demand, but crude fell more than 5% on the week, its second consecutive weekly decline.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures gained 66 cents, or 1.14%, to settle at $58.37 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 36 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $52.81 a barrel.

Brent futures fell 5.7% for the week, its biggest weekly drop since July. WTI lost 5.5% for the week, also its steepest fall since July.

“The oil market is fixated on macro-economic issues and not necessarily current supply or demand,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst with Price Futures Group.

U.S. job growth increased moderately in September, with the unemployment rate dropping to near a 50-year low of 3.5%, according to a U.S. Labor Department report.

The report, however, came on the heels of a string of weak economic reports, including a plunge in manufacturing activity to more than a 10-year low in September and a sharp slowdown in services industry growth to levels last seen in 2016.

 

Reuters

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