Oil Dips On US Jobs Data, Steepest Weekly Loss In Three Months

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula

DOHA: Oil prices settled lower on Friday, and posted their steepest weekly loss in three months as investors weighed weak US jobs data and possible timing of a federal Reserve interest rate cut. brent crude futures for July settled 71 cents lower, or 0.85 percent, to $82.96 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude for June fell 84 cents, or 1 percent, to $78.11 a barrel.

Investors were concerned that higher-for-longer borrowing costs would curb economic growth in the US, the world's leading oil consumer, after the Federal Reserve decided this week to hold interest rates steady. For the week, Brent declined more than 7 percent, while WTI fell 6.8 percent, noted Al-Attiyah Foundation in its Weekly Energy Market Review.

US job growth slowed more than expected in April and the annual wage gain cooled, data showed on Friday, prompting traders to raise bets that the US central bank will deliver its first interest rate cut this year in September. The Fed held rates steady this week and flagged high inflation readings that could delay rate cuts. Geopolitical risk premiums due to the Israel-Hamas war have faded as the two sides consider a temporary ceasefire and hold talks with international mediators.

The average LNG price for June delivery into north-east Asia rose to $10.40 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), from $10.20/mmBtu in the previous week, industry sources estimated. In Europe, gas stocks are 62.6 percent full, high levels for the time of year, leaving the continent well on track to refill ahead of next winter.

In the US, natural gas futures jumped by about 5 percent on Friday and a record 33 percent for the week as the amount of gas flowing to LNG export plants increased with the return of Freeport LNG in Texas. Also, forecasts for much warmer weather next week will prompt power generators to burn more gas to meet air conditioning demand.


The Peninsula

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