By 0713 GMT, Brent crude fell 25 cents to $ 43.06 a barrel, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 28 cents to $ 40.79.
On Friday, China ordered the United States to shut down its consulate in Chengdu, in response to a US request this week that Beijing close its consulate in Houston, as relations between the two largest economies in the world deteriorate.
The dollar fell to a 22-month low against a basket of currencies.
Usually a weak dollar encourages the purchase of commodities priced in the American currency, such as oil, because they become cheaper for holders of other currencies.
According to economists in a Reuters poll, the prospects for the US economy were bleak last month in light of renewed public isolation measures in some states due to the high incidence of HIV infection.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits reached 1.416 million last week, rising unexpectedly for the first time in about four months, indicating the stagnation in the recovery of the American economy in light of a new rise in cases of Covid-19.
While the high number of casualties is fueling concerns about renewed government public isolation measures, fears that oil demand has been hit by tensions between the United States and China, the world’s largest oil consumers.
Barclays Commodities Research said that oil prices may see a correction in the near term if the recovery in fuel demand slows further, especially in the United States.
The bank reduced its forecast for the oil market surplus for 2020 to an average of 2.5 million bpd from 3.5 million bpd previously.
Gold performs its best weekly performance in more than 3 months
Today, Friday, gold and silver are heading towards their best weekly performance, benefiting from the stakes of stimulating economies affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.
Initially, the yellow metal is heading towards its best weekly performance in more than 3 months, as it settled near the highest level in 9 years, driven by the weak dollar and inflation expectations resulting from the stimulus of the economies affected by the Corona virus that caused the Covid-19 epidemic.
And there was little change in gold price, which amounted to 1885.32 dollars an ounce by 0559 GMT, after reaching the highest level since September 2011 when it reached 1897.16 dollars Thursday, according to Reuters reported.
Prices have risen more than 4 percent since the beginning of this week, putting gold on the path to recording the longest streak of gains since late 2011.
“The main rationale has to do with providing more fiscal stimulus … in the European Union, and we are talking again about more fiscal stimulus in the United States,” said Elia Spivac, exchange-market analyst. The interest is actually, and the likely reaction is inflation. ”
Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures from central banks as it is seen as a hedge in the face of inflation and currency depreciation.
Meanwhile, the dollar index is still near its lowest level in two years.
US gold futures fell 0.3 percent to $ 1884.
The drop in current demand forced merchants in India and China to offer big discounts.
Silver is also looking to record its best weekly performance since 1987, with additional momentum coming from bets on the revival of industrial activity.
Silver fell 1 percent to settle at $ 22.51 an ounce, while it rose nearly 17 percent since the start of the week.
As for platinum, it fell 0.5 percent to $ 901.14 an ounce, while palladium increased 0.5 percent to $ 2136.67.