Oil falls 3% on demand woes

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    NEW YORK- Oil prices fell more than 3 percent on Friday and posted their biggest weekly decline since June as fears of a slow economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic compounded worries about weak oil demand.

    Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell $1.41, or 3.2 percent, to settle at $42.66 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell $1.6, or 3.9 percent, to settle at $39.77 a barrel.

    Brent fell 5.3 percent from last week, while WTI lost 7.4 percent.

    Prices were pressured by extended declines in the US equities market and by a report showing US job growth slowed further in August as financial assistance from the government ran out.

    Nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.37 million jobs last month, though employment remained 11.5 million below its pre-pandemic level and the jobless rate was 4.9 percentage points higher than in February.

    The unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent last month, compared with a forecast 9.8 percent, which some market analysts said would lessen urgency in Washington, D.C. to pass additional economic stimulus legislation.