At 1:15 p.m. ET (1715 GMT), Brent crude prices were down 34 cents to $72.69 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 54 cents to $69.45 a barrel. For the week, both benchmark oil contracts remained basically unchanged. Concerns that US supplies would be limited in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, which cut output in the US Gulf of Mexico, contained losses.
As COVID-19 infections rose, non-farm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs, falling short of predictions. This was due to a slowdown in demand for services and continuing labour shortages. Nonfarm payrolls were expected to grow by 728,000 jobs, according to economists polled by Reuters. Meanwhile, around 1.7 million barrels per day of oil production remain halted in the United States' Gulf of Mexico, with damage to heliports and fuel depots delaying the return of crews to offshore rigs, according to Reuters.
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