Oil Futures Gain as Equities Rebound ahead of Jobs Data

Liubov Georges
By  Liubov Georges , DTN Energy Reporter

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- In early trade Friday, crude and product futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange turned higher and equities rallied as traders positioned ahead of the key U.S. non-farm payroll report for August, with consensus calling for new hiring to have further slowed as portions of the labor market struggle to recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts estimate the U.S. economy added about 1.4 million new jobs last month and that the national unemployment rate dropped back below 10% for the first time since April. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 1.763 million in July and by 4.791 million in June. If the slowdown in job growth is steeper than expected, the markets would likely be hit with renewed selling heading into the holiday Labor Day weekend.

ADP's private payroll report earlier this week showed U.S. companies hired only 428,000 workers in August, well below the 975,000 expected from economists.

Employment component for both manufacturing and service indexes released this week by the Institute of Supply Management showed some improvement from the previous month but still failed to break out from contraction territory.

The ISM Services PMI Employment index ticked up to 47.9, up more than 5 points from last month's 42.1 reading and the ISM Manufacturing PMI Employment component rose to 46.4, about a 2-point improvement from last month's 44.3 reading.

In early trading, WTI futures for October delivery advanced 32 cents to near $41.69 per barrel (bbl) and November Brent crude traded 26 cents higher at $44.35 bbl. NYMEX October RBOB gasoline futures edged up to $1.2070 gallon and October ULSD futures rebounded 1.29 cents to $1.1805 gallon.

Liubov Georges can be reached at liubov.georges@dtn.com

Liubov Georges