Commodity Corner: Oil Declines on Lackluster Jobs News
Crude oil for July delivery lost 18 cents Friday to settle at $100.22 a barrel after the U.S. Department of Labor released data suggesting that reports of an economic recovery may be premature.
According to the federal agency, the U.S. economy added 54,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in May—well below what analysts had anticipated. By comparison, the Labor Department reported last month that the U.S. workforce added 244,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April.
The Labor Department also reported Friday that the country's official unemployment rate edged upward 0.1 percentage point in May to 9.1 percent.
Front-month crude oil peaked at $100.87 and bottomed out at $98.12 Friday. For the week, oil is down 0.4 percent.
July natural gas also ended the day lower, falling eight cents to settle at $4.71 per thousand cubic feet. The decline stems from predictions of milder temperatures in the Midwest and Northeast, lessening demand for electricity to power air conditioners in the regions.
The July contract price for gas traded from $4.715 to $4.81 Friday. Overall, natural gas is up 4.2 percent for the week.
July gasoline gained two cents to end Friday's trading at $2.99 a gallon—the intraday high. The price floor for the session was $2.92, and gasoline is down 3.2 percent for the week.