Oil prices bounce off lows; weak US jobs data point to rate cuts

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Investing.com — Oil prices edged higher Wednesday, bouncing from four-month lows after the release of more data showing the cooling of the U.S. labor market. 

At 08:45 ET (12:45 GMT),  rose 0.1% to $77.44 a barrel, and climbed 0.1% to $72.98 a barrel.

Both contracts fell more than 1% on Tuesday to their lowest settlement levels since early February, having declined by about $3 a barrel on Monday.

Private payrolls disappoint 

The crude market has bounced of recent lows after data released earlier Wednesday showed that  increased at a slower-than-anticipated rate in May.

Companies added 152,000 workers during the month, falling from a downwardly revised total of 188,000 in the prior month, according to figures from payrolls processor ADP. Economists had predicted a reading of 173,000.

The data comes a day after a separate report showed that slipped to their lowest level in over three years in April.

These numbers, which came after a string of weak U.S. economic prints, added to concerns over slowing demand as economic growth cools, but also point to the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates this year.

Additionally, top oil importer China posted mixed for May.

Oil nurses steep losses amid demand fears, OPEC+ outlook 

Oil prices were nursing steep losses this week, after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies signaled that it planned to begin scaling back some production cuts this year. 

The move presented a weak outlook for oil prices going into 2025, especially if demand remained stagnant. 

“While the market has been disappointed that OPEC+ will gradually unwind cuts, it is important to remember that this is only from October,” analysts at ING said, in a note.

“Our balance sheet continues to show a tightening in the oil market over the third quarter. Therefore, we believe the scale of the sell-off at the front end of the forward curve is overdone.” 

US inventories see bumper build- API 

Additionally, data from the showed inventories saw a build of about 4 million barrels in the week to May 31, defying expectations for a draw of 1.9 million barrels. 

Gasoline and distillate inventories also clicked builds, raising more concerns about demand in the world’s biggest fuel consumer, even as the travel-heavy summer season began. 

The potential build in inventories also came despite the Memorial Day weekend, which marks the beginning of the summer season. 

The API data usually heralds a similar reading from , which is due later Wednesday. 

(Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)