Brent ended down 0.2% to $ 45.09 and WTI ended with a decline of 0.6% to $ 41.95.
Oil prices stalled Thursday after reaching their highest level since early March the previous day, with the outlook for energy demand still fragile.
In London, a barrel of North Sea Brent for October delivery fell 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $ 45.09.
In New York, WTI’s US barrel for the month of September dropped 24 cents, or 0.6%, to $ 41.95.
The day before, Brent had surpassed the $ 46 mark and WTI that of $ 43, a first in five months, when the fall triggered by a short but intense price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and the worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe.
“Even though the equity market continues to ignore the lackluster data on the state of the US economy, they cast a shadow over the outlook for energy demand,” said John Kilduff of Again. Capital. “The oil market is much more sensitive to it.”
After two weeks of increases due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, jobless claims fell again in the United States, but 1.19 million Americans still registered as unemployed between July 26 and 1st of August
The official unemployment rate for July will be announced on Friday.
A sign of investors’ caution in the face of fuel demand, “even the announcement by Washington of the lifting of restrictions on foreign travel did not particularly increase the price of kerosene”, noted Mr. Kilduff. .
The United States announced Thursday that it was lifting its recommendation calling on American citizens to avoid all travel outside the country’s borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. American diplomacy plans to re-treat each country on a case-by-case basis.
The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) also reported on Wednesday an increase in gasoline stocks of 400,000 barrels last week and an increase in stocks of distilled products of 1, 6 million barrels.
Investors also continue to follow the negotiations in Congress between Republicans and Democrats around new measures to help businesses and households hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic, which can help them pay for their energy consumption. Officials on both sides have said they hope a compromise can be found before the end of the week, but there are still many areas of contention.