Oil prices on Friday finished the week at a higher note, supported by expectations of recovery and OPEC’s comments, promising to continue its supply management efforts. To continue to deflate global supplies and boost prices, the group of oil-producing countries plans to keep the production of oil below demand this year.
On the Nymex, the March futures contract for WTI crude oil rose 1.1% to $56.85, bringing its lead to 9% for the week, while Brent futures advanced 0.85% to $59.34 in April. Since the beginning of the year, oil prices have now risen over 17 percent.
Gold rebounded beyond the $1,800 mark, with the April futures contract on the Comex rising 1.2 percent to $1,813 per ounce. The yellow metal, however, gave up 2 percent over the week, deserted once again by investors seduced by risk-appetite. On Friday, after a turbulent week, March-maturity silver recovered 3 percent to $27 an ounce, which ultimately ended up 0.4 percent.
In January, investors welcomed the disappointing U.S. jobs estimates, saying they would prompt the U.S. Congress to pass as soon as possible Joe Biden’s proposed new $1,900 billion economic support package.
In January, Non-Farm Payrolls grew to just 49,000, while according to FactSet, the consensus had risen to almost 100,000, following the recent improvements by economists. Private Nonfarm Payrolls came out at just 6,000, while 97,500 were anticipated. Manufacturing Payroll growth was estimated at 30,000, but 10,000 workers were eventually lost by the manufacturing sector.
In reality, the December estimates were updated downwards with 227,000 work losses versus 140,000 losses originally published. In January, against an expectation of 0.3 percent, Average Hourly Earnings MoM increased by just 0.2 percent over one month. Year-on-year, the rise was 5.4 percent. The Unemployment Rate, however, dropped sharply to 6.3 percent. The December consensus was 6.7 percent for equilibrium.