Oil prices experienced a slight fall on Thursday following data showing an unexpected drop in employment in the US and on signals that Iran will return to the oil market.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $89.12 per barrel at 0600 GMT with a 0.39% gain after closing the previous session at $89.47 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $87.83 per barrel at the same time for a 0.49% fall after ending the previous session at $88.26 a barrel.
Companies cut 301,000 jobs in January in the US, against the expectation of the addition of 200,000 positions, payroll processing firm ADP said on Wednesday, signaling a slower economic rebound and pressuring oil prices.
Iranian Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji on Wednesday said the country was ready to return to the oil market as quickly as possible, which also drove prices down.
Nonetheless, the price fall is expected to be limited, with the latest decision of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to hold the output increase at 400,000 barrels per day.
Twenty-three members of the world’s biggest oil producers, the OPEC group and allies, known as OPEC+, agreed at their meeting on Wednesday to extend the current plan of raising output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) through March.
US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 1 million barrels last week to 415.1 million barrels, US Energy Information Administration announced on Wednesday.
The drop in oil inventories came against expectations of an increase of 1.525 million barrels.
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