Crude oil prices recovered early Friday after weak data in the U.S. prompted a slowdown in the world's largest economy, signaling that crude demand could be lower for the remainder of the year.
International benchmark Brent crude fell to as low as $56.16 per barrel on Thursday, but quickly recovered to end the session with only a 0.03% decline. On Friday, Brent traded at $57.93 a barrel at 0635 GMT.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $52.72 per barrel at the same time on Friday. On Thursday, WTI plummeted to as low as $51.01 a barrel and finished the day with a 0.51% loss to trade at $52.37 a barrel.
In the U.S., non-manufacturing PMI, an indicator of overall economic well-being for the non-manufacturing sector, dropped to 52.6 in September from 56.4 in August, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
Factory orders, which measure change in the total value of new purchase orders placed with U.S. manufacturers, fell 0.1% in August, despite posting an increase of 1.4% in July, the U.S. Commerce Department said.
Analysts surmise that the weak U.S. macroeconomic data indicates that the trade war with China has begun to take a toll on the American economy, while also disclosing that the world's biggest oil consumer could see its oil demand decline this year, resulting in the lower crude prices seen on Thursday.
By Ovunc Kutlu