Crude and refined product futures are facing a downward trend as the US job growth rates slow down and concerns over the Israel-Hamas conflict begin to ease. Prices are on track to end the week lower, with both oil contracts experiencing a drop of about $3 per barrel. Additionally, this decline comes despite a 1% slip in the dollar index.
The NYMEX December West Texas Intermediate contract is currently down by 50 cents, trading at around $82 a barrel as of 11:35 a.m. ET. Similarly, the January WTI contract has dropped 65 cents to $81.55 per barrel.
Refined Product Futures
The London-based January ICE Brent contract is experiencing a decline of about 85 cents, reaching $86.05 per barrel. Meanwhile, the February Brent contract is down by the same amount at $85.40 per barrel.
Both oil contracts are expected to end the week with a drop of about $3 per barrel. This will mark a second consecutive week of decline.
Impact of Weaker Job Growth
The decrease in crude futures is occurring despite a 1% slip in the dollar index. Earlier on Friday, the Labor Department reported that US nonfarm employment growth in October slowed to 150,000 jobs. Additionally, the unemployment rate rose to 3.9% from September’s 3.8%. These economic indicators suggest a slowing economy, which typically results in lower fuel demand.
RBOB and ULSD Contracts
The NYMEX December RBOB contract is down by 4.1 cents, trading at $2.205 per gallon. Similarly, the January RBOB contract has dropped 3.8 cents to $2.202 per gallon. In addition, the NYMEX December ULSD contract retreated by 7.7 cents to $2.9485 per gallon, and the January ULSD contract is down by 6.8 cents at $2.883 per gallon.
Cenovus Energy’s Refinery Operations
Cenovus Energy recently announced that it successfully restarted a fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Superior, Wisconsin refinery in October. This development has contributed to the Canadian integrated energy company’s higher third-quarter utilization rate for its US refineries. Chief Executive Jon McKenzie mentioned that most of the company’s US refineries ran “at or near full rates” in the quarter.