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Oil Futures Settle Notably Lower

Oil Futures Settle Notably Lower

Crude oil futures closed lower on Friday as worries about the spread of coronavirus, and its impact on the global economy and energy demand weighed on oil prices.

Traders ignored buoyant monthly jobs data but appeared to be waiting for OPEC’s decision on oil production cuts.

OPEC’s joint technical committee on Thursday had recommended a cut of 600,000 barrels a day, but Russia has stated that it would need more time to analyze the market and that it would clarify its position on deeper cuts next week.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for March ended down $0.63, or about 1.2%, at $50.32 a barrel.

WTI crude futures shed about 2.4% in the week. With this, oil futures have suffered losses for five straight weeks.

data released by the Labor Department showed employment in the U.S. jumped by 225,000 jobs in January following a revised increase of 147,000 jobs in December. Economists had expected employment to rise by 160,000 jobs compared to the addition of 145,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the stronger than expected job growth, the unemployment rate inched up to 3.6% in January from 3.5% in December, the data showed. Economists had expected the employment rate to remain unchanged.

According to a report from Baker Hughes, U.S. companies added 1 oil rig in the week to February 7, taking the total count to 676. In the same week last year, oil rig count stood at 854.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com