Oil prices fell on Friday, but managed to retrace losses after plunging on data that showed recent U.S. job gains grinding to a halt in February.
Crude futures were also under pressure after data showed a slump in Chinese imports and exports last month and the European Central Bank slashed its outlook for economic growth on the continent.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 66 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $56 around 2:30 p.m. ET. WTI earlier fell more than 3 percent to a three-week low at $54.52. The contract is on pace to rise half a percent this week.
Brent crude futures were down 54 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to $65.76 a barrel, bouncing from a three-week low at $64.02. The international benchmark for oil prices was on pace for a roughly 1 percent gain on the week.
Crude futures extended losses in early morning trade after U.S. government data showed the country added just 20,000 jobs in February, compared with estimates for a gain of 180,000 positions.
Also in February, China's exports fell nearly 21 percent and its imports slipped about 5 percent, data released Friday showed. The trade figures raise fresh concerns about the world's second largest economy.
Despite the headline figures, Chinese crude oil imports surged 21.6 percent to 10.23 million barrels per day, the third-highest volume on record, according to Reuters analysis.
On Thursday, crude futures came under pressure after Europe's central bank slashed its growth estimate to 1.1 percent, down from its last forecast for 1.7 percent expansion. ECB President Mario Draghi said the European economy was in "a period of continued weakness and pervasive uncertainty."