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Oil prices have another go at a rally

The price for crude oil is down more than $8 per barrel since high-water mark in June.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Crude oil prices try once again to stage a minor rally after falling more than $8 per barrel from the year's high point in June. File photo by Monika Graff/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/36de68c6e678e2f6cbde4f6e7f700754/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Crude oil prices try once again to stage a minor rally after falling more than $8 per barrel from the year's high point in June. File photo by Monika Graff/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices tried again Wednesday to pull out of a protracted retreat as strong labor figures in the United States bolstered early market confidence.

Oil started in positive territory early Tuesday on sentiment that some level of recovery was expected in the medium term. The rally fizzled out, however, even after industry data showed a decline in U.S. crude oil supplies.

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Oil prices have been under negative pressure because of concerns some of the surge in demand that pulled the price per barrel above $50 earlier this year was starting to fade. Several of the energy companies out with earnings reports so far, meanwhile, are reporting an expected increase in production despite mounting losses for the second quarter.

U.S. private payroll processor ADP reported before the market opened Wednesday that U.S. companies added 179,000 jobs to their payrolls in June, showing industries are still hiring despite a downturn in some market sectors.

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Oil prices started in positive territory in early Wednesday trading. The price for Brent crude oil moved up 0.5 percent to start the day in New York at $42.04 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for the price of oil, was up in parallel to Brent to open at $39.72 per barrel.

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Oil prices are down roughly 20 percent since June, suggesting the market is moving through a short-term bear market. Crude oil prices may come under additional pressure later in the day after the U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes official data on output and inventories.

U.S. markets have followed crude oil prices lower, as some key components of the Dow and S&P 500 show weakening during the second quarter of the year. Concerns about a slowing economy in Asia, sluggish growth in the United States and post-Brexit worries in Europe, meanwhile, could add up to a scenario for lackluster demand.

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