HOUSTON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices lost ground for the week ending Nov. 1 with the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery down 0.81 percent and Brent crude oil down 0.53 percent.
WTI closed the week at 56.2 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January finished the week at 61.69 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
WTI and Brent crude prices have increased 23.76 percent and 14.67 percent, respectively, so far this year, falling from their peak levels in April when the growth of WTI hit over 40 percent, and Brent crude over 30 percent.
In the first four days of the week, oil market sentiment remained bearish amid worries about rising U.S. supply and concerns over a weakening Chinese economy. In the meantime, the sharp increase of U.S. crude stockpiles and expected rising output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also formed pressures on oil prices.
From Monday to Thursday, WTI lost 1.63 dollars, while Brent crude erased 1.34 dollars.
On Friday, however, oil prices bounced back as both WTI and Brent crude jumped more than 2 dollars after reports showed U.S. labor market was stronger-than-expected, the active drilling rig count in the United States fell once again.
The number of active drilling rigs in the United States decreased by eight to 822 this week, down 245 rigs year-on-year, according to the weekly data released by Baker Hughes on Friday.
Oil prices have kept gaining momentum since the start of the year due to some geopolitical concerns and OPEC's decision of production cut. However, the momentum has slowed down, mainly because of the concerns over downturn in demand for crude oil.
The slowing global economy continued to be a major headwind for crude oil. The slower economic growth of the world, mainly due to the trade disputes between the United States and China, will lead to less demand for oil, which in turn would put downward pressure on oil prices.
Moreover, a rising U.S. dollar in the past months has dragged down the greenback-denominated crude futures as the U.S. Dollar Index has been keeping uptrend since mid-2018. However, the U.S. Dollar Index remained under heavy bearish pressure in October.
The index ended the week near 97.16 level and remained in a bull channel. Analysts believed that the bull trend will face challenging if the index can't hold at around 95.80 level.
Meanwhile, analysts said that despite the sharply short-covering rally on Friday, the bearish sentiment would extend into next week, because the positive news is not likely to offset the negative news. They believe the fragile economic outlook will continue to weigh on fuel demand.