Oil prices experienced an increase on Friday during a volatile Asian trading session. Investors were eagerly awaiting the release of US nonfarm payrolls data to assess the future actions of the US Federal Reserve.
International benchmark crude Brent traded at $84.30 per barrel at 11.30 a.m. local time (0830GMT), up 0.27% from the closing price of $84.07 a barrel in the previous trading session on Thursday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $82.76 per barrel, up 0.66% from Thursday’s close of $82.21 per barrel.
Oil prices were volatile on Friday, impacted by looming uncertainties as markets await key data amid supply fears triggered by OPEC’s decision to cut oil supplies by a total of 1.3 million barrels by the end of the year.
Having risen to their highest level in a year last week, both benchmarks lost more than 2% on Thursday following data indicating that oil consumption started to fall in the US with the end of the summer.
According to data announced by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, US gasoline stocks rose approximately 6.5 million barrels, reaching 227 million barrels.
Fears of another Fed interest rate hike intensified, bringing prices down, after US Labor Department figures showed that US job openings rose more than expected to 9.61 million in August, relative to the forecast of 8.8 million.
Markets are now awaiting ADP non-farm payrolls data, to be issued later on Friday, in order to gain insight into the Fed’s next interest rate decision.
Also adding to downside pressure on prices by easing supply woes, Russia announced on Friday that it has partially lifted the ban on the diesel exports by pipelines through seaports.
“The government has removed restrictions on export of diesel fuel delivered to seaports by pipeline transport provided that the producer supplies at least 50% of diesel fuel produced to the domestic market,” according to an official statement.
The restrictions for gasoline exports, meanwhile, remain in force.
Moscow decided on Sept. 21 to limit the export of gasoline and diesel fuel, and Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said on Tuesday that the limit will remain until fuel supplies and prices stabilize on the domestic market.
Russia, one of the largest global oil producers, exports nearly 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) of diesel fuel and 100,000 bpd of gasoline. Last year, the country’s diesel exports totaled 35 million tons and gasoline exports amounted to 4.8 million tons.