Oil inched higher in New York as President Donald Trump’s doctors gave an upbeat assessment of his health even as labor market weakness heightened concerns over an economic recovery.
U.S. crude futures added as much as 0.5% after slumping 4.3% in volatile trading on Friday on news that the U.S. president had tested positive for Covid-19. While investors are mulling contradictory accounts about Trump’s infection, doctors on Sunday insisted he is doing well and could be discharged as soon as Monday. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia kept its crude oil output broadly stable last month.
Futures last week fell 8%, the largest on a percentage basis since June as U.S. job gains slowed in September and many Americans quit looking for work, further underscoring the shaky state of the economy. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said negotiations on a new stimulus with the White House will press ahead.
Crude is off to a rocky start in October following a September decline. Demand has been struggling to recover at a time when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is boosting its supplies into the market. Saudi Arabia pumped 8.974 million barrels a day in September compared with 8.988 million barrels a day in August, according to an industry official familiar with the kingdom’s production levels.