Crude oil prices fell again Friday on data showing that unemployment in the United States rose to 6.1 percent in August, a higher level than had been anticipated, raising fears that demand will erode further.
The declines came ahead of scheduled meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, scheduled for next week, where the oil cartel could cut production quotas after the recent price declines in an attempt to hold prices at around $100 per barrel.
October contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $1.48 to $106.41 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange while Brent crude for October delivery was down $2.25 to $104.14 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
In afternoon trade, Nymex October gasoline dropped 7 cents to $2.68 per gallon while October heating oil fell 6 cents to $2.96 per gallon, but October natural gas added 3 cents to $7.35 per million British thermal units.
While there are two new storms brewing in the Atlantic Ocean which are expected to make landfall on the east coast of the United States, oil prices did not respond because neither is expected to disrupt oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.
Still, investors are well aware that the hurricane season lasts until the end of November.