UPDATE 8-Oil prices end week on multi-month lows on recession fears


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 (Updates with settlement prices, updates with Baker Hughes
    By Laura Sanicola
    Aug 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices settled higher on Friday,
recouping some of this week's losses on strong U.S. job growth
data, but closed the week at their lowest levels since February,
rattled by worries a recession could hit fuel demand.
    Brent crude  LCOc1  settled up 80 cents to $94.92 a barrel,
11% off last Friday's settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate
crude  CLc1  settled up 47 cents to $89.01, off 8% in the week.
    U.S. job growth unexpectedly accelerated in July as nonfarm
payrolls increased by 528,000 jobs, the largest gain since
February, the U.S. Labor Department reported.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2ZG2G3
    "This is strong economic data that's supporting the oil
market rise today," said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures
at Mizuho.
    Oil traders this week have fretted about inflation, economic
growth and demand, but signs of tight supply kept a floor under
    The number of oil rigs, an early indicator of future output,
fell seven to 598 in the week to Aug. 5, the first weekly
decline in 10 weeks, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co BKR.O
said in its closely followed report on Friday.  RIG-USA-BHI 
    Recession worries have intensified since the Bank of
England's warning on Thursday of a drawn-out downturn after it
raised interest rates by the most since 1995.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2ZG4J4
    "Clearly, everyone is taking the threat of recession far
more seriously as we're still seeing a very tight market and
producers with no capacity to change that," said Craig Erlam,
senior market analyst at Oanda in London.
    Supplies were still relatively tight, with prompt prices
still higher than those in future months, a market structure
known as backwardation.   
    The OPEC+ producer group agreed this week to raise its oil
output goal by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, but
this was one of the smallest increases since such quotas were
introduced in 1982, OPEC data showed.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2ZF13I
    Supply concerns were expected to ratchet up closer to
winter,  with European Union sanctions banning seaborne imports
of Russian crude and oil products set to take effect on Dec. 5.
    "With the EU halting seaborne Russian imports, there is a
key question of whether Middle Eastern producers will reroute
their barrels to Europe to backfill the void," said RBC analyst
Michael Tran.  
    "How this Russian oil sanctions policy shakes out will be
one of the most consequential matters to watch for the remainder
of the year."

 (Reporting by Noah Browning; editing by David Evans, Kirsten
Donovan and David Gregorio)

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