US Crude Oil Rising As Brent in Decline

Oil prices saw a bit of a bump on the first Friday of September as the head of the United States Federal Reserve said the agency will “act as appropriate” as a means to sustain the current economic expansion.  Pressure from uncertainty over global trade tensions, of course, could quickly shift this trend the other way. 

Looking at the specific data, global benchmark Brent crude posted 52 cents in growth, ending the week up nearly 1 percent, at $61.47 per barrel.  Simultaneously, US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude saw an increase of 22 cents—the equivalent of about half a percent—to $56.52 per barrel. 

This is a welcomed move as both benchmarks had been in decline not too long ago, over concerns that the US job growth is slowing more than had been expected. Obviously, continued complications in the US-China trade relationship are also making it hard to find support for the growth. 

The price of oil fell earlier in this session, mostly on the heels of US government data confirming that job growth has, in fact, slowed.  Including August, that makes seven months straight of such disappointment. It is important to note, however, that slow growth still implies that the United States is adding jobs; but nonfarm payrolls  expanded by 130,000 last month, which is 28,000 less than what economist had originally forecast. 

Still, Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently said—at the University of Zurich conference—the Federal Reserve is obligated “to use our tools to support the economy, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”  Heading into the central bank’s September policy meeting, in the next week or so, Powell is looking to add a second rate cut to improve things since the quarter of a percentage point cut back in July.