Crude Oil Pulls Back Amid Concerns About Global Demand

Following the rebound seen in the previous session, the price of crude oil moved back to the downside during trading on Friday.

The price of crude oil for September delivery slid $0.81 or 1.2 percent to $68.28 a barrel, plunging 7.7 percent for the week.

The pullback by oil prices came as concerns about the outlook for global demand amid a surge in coronavirus infections overshadowed upbeat U.S. jobs data.

China has imposed new restrictions on travel in a bid to curb the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

At least 46 cities have advised against travelling, and authorities have suspended flights and stopped public transport, raising concerns about fuel demand.

Japan’s cumulative total of coronavirus cases has topped 1 million as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread in many parts of the country.

South Korea has extended its social distancing curbs by two weeks across most part of the country.

From Indonesia and Malaysia to Thailand and Bangladesh, countries across Asia have detected Delta in their communities.

In the United States, daily new COVID-19 cases have climbed to a six-month high, with more than 100,000 infections reported nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department released a report showing non-farm payroll employment spiked by 943,000 jobs in July after surging by an upwardly revised 938,000 jobs in June.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 870,000 jobs compared to the addition of 850,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The stronger than expected job growth was partly due to sharp increases in employment in leisure and hospitality and local government education, which shot up by 380,000 jobs and 221,000 jobs, respectively.

Reflecting the strong job growth, the unemployment rate slid to 5.4 percent in July from 5.9 percent in June, falling to its lowest level since March of 2020. Economists had expected the unemployment rate to dip to 5.7 percent.

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