Oil prices rise after rough week of steep losses

Oil prices rise after rough week of steep losses

Friday, November 7, 2014 10:13 pm

Oil prices climbed Friday as the market took a breather after a turbulent week that saw sharp sell-offs and a mixed US jobs report.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December advanced 74 cents to $78.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December settled at $83.39 a barrel in London, up 53 cents from Thursday’s closing level.

“Primarily the market is stabilizing” after Tuesday’s plunge, said Gene McGillian of Tradition Energy.

WTI had dropped to a three-year low and Brent slid to a four-year low after leading producer Saudi Arabia cut its prices for crude sold to the US market.

Now, McGillian said, “it’s just the market catching its breath” and traders were doing “some corrective buying.”

The US jobs report for October was “a mixed bag, rather neutral,” said Matt Smith of Schneider Electric.

The Labor Department reported job growth that was slightly less than expected and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent.

The dollar weakened slightly after the jobs data, providing some support for oil prices, said James Williams of WTRG Economics.

A weaker greenback makes dollar-priced commodities like crude oil cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies, which in turn tends to spur demand and prices.

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