Oil futures decline as demand concerns weigh
Investing.com - Crude oil futures dropped on Friday, as demand concerns overweighed the previous session's news of possible new easing measures by the European Central Bank.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for October delivery hit $46.40 during European early afternoon hours, down 0.77%. A day earlier, Nymex oil prices gained 50 cents, or 1.08%, to end at $46.75.
Oil prices had strengthened after the ECB indicated on Thursday that it could expand its quantitative easing program amid increased downside risks to its inflation outlook.
The ECB lowered its forecast for growth and inflation, citing oil prices and slowing growth in China.
The cut in European growth forecasts heightened worries over the outlook for oil demand at a time of huge oversupply.
Earlier Thursday, the ECB kept its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.05%, in line with the consensus expectation.
Investors were looking ahead to the key-U.S. jobs report due later Friday, for further indications on the strength of the economy and signs of a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve this month.
Data on Thursday showed that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the U.S. in the week ending August 29 increased by 12,000 to 282,000 from the previous week's total of 270,000, compared to expectations for a 5,000 rise.
First-time jobless claims have held below the 300,000-level for 26 consecutive weeks, which is usually associated with a firming labor market.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for October delivery lost 20 cents, or 0.40%, to trade at $50.48 a barrel. On Thursday, London-traded Brent futures gained 18 cents, or 0.36%, to settle at $50.68.
The spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $4.08 a barrel.
The Great Diwali Discount!
Unlock 75% more savings this festive season. Get Moneycontrol Pro for a year for Rs 289 only.
Coupon code: DIWALI. Offer valid till 10th November, 2019 .