Oil Futures Snap 3-day Losing Streak, Settle Notably Higher

Despite lingering concerns about the outlook for energy demand, crude oil prices climbed higher on Friday as the dollar turned weak after data showed an uptick in U.S. unemployment rate in the month of February.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $0.96 or about 1.3% at $76.68 a barrel, rebounding after three successive days of losses.

Thanks to the sharp surge in prices today, oil futures cut its weekly loss to less than 4%.

Brent crude futures were up $1.03 or 1.26% at 82.62 a barrel a little while ago.

Data from the Labor Department showed that the unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February from 3.4% in January. The unemployment rate was expected to be unchanged.

Wage growth came in at 0.2% month-over-month and 4.6% year-over-year, below expectations for 0.3% and 4.7%, respectively.

Nonetheless, non-farm payroll employment shot up by 311,000 jobs in February after spiking by a revised 504,000 jobs in January.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 205,000 jobs compared to the surge of 517,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Russia’s decision to trim oil output by 500,000 barrels per day in March contributed a bit to the uptick in oil prices.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Iran, both founding members of OPEC, re-established diplomatic ties after seven years of estrangement that led to Tehran being targeted with U.S. sanctions for suspicions of building a nuclear bomb.

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