Oil Rises On US Jobs Data, But Fed Timing Weighs

Reuters

NEW YORK, Dec 6 (Reuters) - U.S. oil ended with its largest weekly percentage gain since July on Friday amid hopes for increased demand following strong jobs data from the United States, the world's top oil consumer.

The employment report added to a week's worth of strong economic reports, including an upward revision of third-quarter gross domestic product growth. Stronger equity markets also lifted oil prices.

But the gains were curbed by speculation the positive data would push up the date when the U.S. Federal Reserve begins unwinding its bond-buying program, which could reduce support for riskier assets such as oil and other commodities.

Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said on Friday the jobs growth was another reason to taper quantitative easing, which is another name for the bond-buying program.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since November 2008, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday.

The November data took into account federal workers who were counted as jobless in October returning to work after a 16-day partial shutdown of the government.

U.S. crude initially fell on the jobs report, then rose to settle 27 cents higher at $97.65 per barrel. The contract ended with a 5.3 percent gain this week, its largest weekly percentage gain since July 5.


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