(New York) Oil closed lower on Monday in weak trading as London remained closed for Easter Monday as investors remained concerned about the future of demand.
A barrel of Brent North Sea oil for June delivery fell 1.10% to $84.18.
Its US equivalent, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), for delivery in May, fell 1.18% to 79.74 dollars.
Both Brent and WTI, which have been rising for three weeks, posted a weekly rise of more than 6% last week after Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies announced a cut in crude production of more than one million barrels per day from May.
In addition to this decline in profit-taking, brokers remained cautious “seeking more clarity on the prospects for global growth” and therefore demand for black gold, underlined Edward Moya of Oanda.
The US jobs report released on Friday showed a still strong labor market, which could prompt the Federal Reserve (Fed) to raise interest rates yet again, a move that could slow the economy.
A rebound in the greenback, which gained more than 1% according to the Dollar Index, was also an additional factor in explaining the decline in oil prices, while oil is traded in dollars.
For Edward Oanda, the US indicators of the week, namely the consumer price index, retail sales and consumer confidence, could give clues to the evolution of demand for crude.
Geopolitically, the heightened tension between China and the United States was not encouraging investor sentiment.
Over the weekend, China launched military exercises to encircle Taiwan while a US destroyer conducted a “freedom of navigation operation” in an area of the South China Sea claimed by Beijing on Monday.