HOUSTON, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Benchmark oil prices posted a loss during the week ending Feb. 8, with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery down by 4.6 percent and Brent crude for March delivery down by 1.1 percent.
In the previous week ending Feb. 1, oil prices rose. WTI increased by 2.9 percent, and Brent crude grew by 1.9 percent. At the end of that week, WTI settled at 55.26 U.S. dollars a barrel, while Brent crude closed at 62.79 dollars a barrel.
The U.S. oil rig count rose by seven this week, bringing the total count to 854. The number of active drilling rigs in the United States increased by four to 1,049, or 74 more than the same time last year.
On Monday, oil prices declined as investors continued to worry that falling factory orders in the United States would dampen oil demand.
WTI declined 70 cents to settle at 54.56 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 24 cents to close at 62.51 dollars a barrel.
The demand for U.S. manufactured products fell in November 2018 as factory orders dropped 0.6 percent from the previous month amid sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment.
Analysts said the unexpected fall in the data stoked investors' concerns that oil demand would weaken in the near future and further contribute to a global glut.
On Tuesday, oil prices declined as investors worried that a global glut would be fueled by weaker demand.
WTI declined 0.90 U.S. dollar to settle at 53.66 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 0.53 dollar to close at 61.98 dollars a barrel.
On Wednesday, oil prices rose after data showed U.S. crude inventories rose less than expected. WTI added 0.35 U.S. dollar to settle at 54.01 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude increased 0.71 dollar to close at 62.69 dollars a barrel.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels in the week ending Feb. 1. At 447.2 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories were about 6 percent above the five-year average for this time of year.
On Thursday, oil prices declined again as the U.S. dollar increased against most of its major peers. WTI erased 1.37 dollars to settle at 52.64 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude erased 1.06 dollars to close at 61.63 dollars a barrel.
The dollar was supported by positive sentiment on U.S. economy. A stronger dollar made the dollar-priced commodity less attractive for holders of other currencies.
On Friday, oil prices rose slightly despite rising U.S. rig count. WTI added 8 cents to settle at 52.72 dollars a barrel, while Brent crude increased 47 cents to close at 62.10 dollars a barrel.