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

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