Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher On Jobs Data, Production Cut Hopes

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Crude oil prices moved up sharply on Friday amid optimism about increased energy demand after data from U.S. Labor Department showed a higher than expected job additions and smaller-than-expected increase in unemployment in the month of May.

Also, with several businesses across the global reopening after several weeks of lockdown, and the European Central Bank deciding to substantially expand its bond-buying program to support the economy, it is expected that energy demand will see a notable surge over the course of coming months.

Further, traders were also betting on hopes the OPEC will consider extending record production cuts beyond the end of this month. According to Russia’s energy ministry, a video conference of a group of leading oil producers, known as OPEC+, would be held on Saturday.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $2.14 or about 5.7% at $39.55 a barrel.

Brent Crude futures were moving up by about $2.10 or 5.2% at $42.10 a barrel.

According to sources from OPEC, Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to extend deeper cuts until the end of July. The sources added that there is a possibility of the reductions being extended until the end of August.

Meanwhile, according to a report from Baker Hughes, the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil declined by 16 to 206 this week, continuing to fall from mid-March, indicating further declines in domestic crude output.

The total active U.S. rig count now stands at 284 , down 17 from last Friday’s count.

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