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Oil Prices Rise on US Jobs Report, Iran Concerns

Friday, 08 Nov 2013 04:18 PM

Oil prices rose Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs growth report and as investors kept an eye on talks for a deal on Iran's disputed nuclear program.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December delivery, finished the session at $94.60 a barrel, an increase of 40 cents from Thursday's close.

In London trade, the European benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for December, jumped $1.66 to settle at $105.12 a barrel.

The U.S. Labor Department's highly anticipated October jobs report showed the world's largest economy added a surprising 204,000 jobs, more than double the average analyst estimate, despite a 16-day partial federal government shutdown.

"The US employment report for October was stronger than expected, triggering a supportive rally in the S&P 500, but also a stronger dollar that tended to limit gains" in oil prices, said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, tending to curb demand for crude.

But behind the solid October jobs number, the details of the report showed areas of weakness, leaving a murky picture on the health of the economy.

The data came a day after the US government estimated third-quarter economic growth at the annual rate of 2.8 percent, again with the surprisingly strong headline number masking worrying details.

Both the growth and jobs reports stirred speculation that the US Federal Reserve may begin to reduce its monetary stimulus sooner than expected, with some analysts pointing to the Fed meeting in December.

The employment data "keeps investors on the same see-saw they have been on for some time, with stronger data generating a mix of optimism that the economy is strengthening and worry that the Fed will begin tapering sooner rather than later," Evans said.

Meanwhile, top diplomats held talks in Geneva amid rising hopes for a long-sought deal on oil producer Iran's nuclear program, which the US and allies say is a cover for nuclear weapons production, a claim Tehran denies.

The agreement could see Tehran freeze its nuclear efforts in exchange for some relief from the sanctions that have battered its economy.

"Earlier today it looked as if we might see a preliminary agreement with Iran, that suggested a fuller agreement would be possible," said Michael Lynch of Strategic Energy and Economic Research.

"It seems we are not there yet," he said.

© AFP 2017

 
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Oil prices rose Friday after a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs growth report and as investors kept an eye on talks for a deal on Iran's disputed nuclear program.
Commodities,energy,oil,price
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2013-18-08
Friday, 08 Nov 2013 04:18 PM
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