Crude halted its advance as investors weighed data that showed U.S. payrolls rose less than projected against signs that U.S. production may slow.
Futures lost as much as 0.7 percent in New York after gaining 1.8 percent Friday. The U.S. added 142,000 jobs last month, compared with a gain of 201,000 projected in a Bloomberg survey. The number of active rigs in the U.S. fell by 26 to 614 last week, a five-year low, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. on Friday. Saudi Arabia cut pricing for November oil sales to Asia and the U.S., the world’s largest crude exporter said Sunday.
Oil has stuck near $45 a barrel for more than four weeks after plunging to a six-year low in August, even as U.S. crude stockpiles stay about 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average and OPEC pumps above its output target.
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery fell as much as 33 cents to $45.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was trading at $45.25 at 6:55 a.m. in Hong Kong. The contract gained 80 cents to $45.54 on Friday. The volume of all futures traded was about 32 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for November settlement dropped as much as 29 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $47.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a $2.60 premium to WTI.
Hedge funds trimmed bullish oil bets for the first time in six weeks. Speculators reduced their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 9.1 percent in the week ended Sept. 29, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.