Crude-oil futures ended higher Friday, after bulls and bears spent most of the session in a tug of war and a much-anticipated jobs report came in better than expected. Crude oil for September delivery added 0.3%, to $86.88/barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It traded as high as $88.32/barrel and as low as $82.87/barrel.
The quarter gain, however, did little to soften a steep weekly fall for oil.
Crude declined 9.2% on the week, which follows a decline of 4.2% the previous week and a slight decrease for July.
Prices treaded water as the jobs report wasn't as bad as expected but it did little to quell the fears of a recession, says Matt Smith, an analyst with Summit Energy in Kentucky.
That oil lost so much ground so fast this week was more worrying, he says.
As of Monday, oil dropped below $80/barrel in New York, falling to the lowest in more than 10 months, as the U.S. credit rating cut and rising stockpiles stoked concern an economic slowdown will worsen, reducing fuel demand in the world’s biggest crude consumer.
Futures slipped as much as 3.3%, following a 6.4% plunge over the weekend. U.S. equities slumped the most since December 2008 in the first trading session since Standard & Poor’s Aug. 5 downgrade. An Energy Department report tomorrow may show crude inventories climbed for a third week.