On Friday, figures showed that U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 215,000 in March, beating expectations for 205,000 jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate was at 5.0 percent, the first month-over-month increase since May 2015.
“This month’s job data, together with strong job growth over the last few months, will help to maintain investors’ confidence in the U.S. economy and reduce worries of a recession,” Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore, said in a note Monday.
But she noted that the jobs data isn’t likely to impact market expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates twice this year.
U.S. crude futures retreated during Asian hours, down 1.44 percent at $36.26 a barrel as of 3:41 p.m. HK/SIN, after finishing down 4 percent on Friday. Global benchmark Brent futures were off 1.14 percent at $38.23 a barrel, after finishing down 2.34 percent on Friday.
Oil prices took a hit from Saudi Arabia’s deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s remarks last week that cast fresh doubts over the ability of world oil producers to agree to an output freeze at their meeting in Qatar on April 17. The prince was reported as saying the kingdom would not participate in a freeze if Iran and other major producers, both OPEC and non-OPEC, do not join the program.