Oil Futures Settle Modestly Higher

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, but gains were just modest due to lingering worries about the outlook for energy demand amid a continued surge in coronavirus cases in Asia and the possibility of another shutdown in some countries.

Optimism about increased demand for oil in the U.S. and Europe supported oil prices. Still, data showing a smaller than expected increase in U.S. non-farm payroll employment in the month of April hurt a bit.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up by $0.19 or about 0.3% at $64.90 a barrel. WTI crude futures gained about 2.1% in the week.

Brent crude futures were up $0.08 or 0.12% at $68.17 a barrel a little while ago.

According to the report released by Baker Hughes, the U.S. oil rig count increased by 2 to 344 this week. The gas rig count stood at 103 versus 96 last week, and the total rig count rose by 8 to 448 in the week.

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