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Oil Slips on US Jobs Data Disappointment

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Reuters

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Oil futures fell on Friday as U.S. jobs data came in below expectations, tempering economic optimism that had pushed Brent crude during the session to its highest level in four months, and prompting some investors to take profits.

U.S. employers slowed hiring in July, with the number of jobs outside the farming sector increasing by 162,000, the Labor Department said, below the median forecast of 184,000 in a Reuters poll.

The disappointing number led many oil investors to sell out of positions after sharp gains in the previous two days.

"We've got a pullback from the jobs data, but I suspect we are also seeing some profit-taking before the weekend," said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities in New York.

"That said, we are still trading at historically high levels. I wouldn't be surprised if we tested $110, although that won't happen today."

U.S. crude oil futures fell 95 cents to settle at $106.94 a barrel. Despite Friday's decline, the U.S. benchmark ended the week with a 2.1 percent gain.

Brent futures fell 59 cents to settle at $108.95 a barrel, after reaching an intraday peak of $110.09, the highest level since April 3. Brent ended the week up 1.66 percent, snapping two weeks of declines.


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