US oil prics rose Thursday in anticipation of a strong US jobs report that would signal further economic momentum.
A barrel of US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose $1.13 to $91.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
European benchmark Brent oil dropped 25 cents to $110.81 a barrel.
The jump in US oil prices came after a government report Thursday that showed claims for US unemployment benefits declined by 7,000 for the week ending March 2.
The report on jobless benefits followed a report Wednesday from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing that showed that the US private-sector added 198,000 jobs in February, more than many analysts expected.
Carl Larry, a broker at Atlas Commodities, said the two reports raised hopes that Friday's closely watched report on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment will be strong.
"If we see a good jobs report tomorrow, that's going to increase our oil demand," Larry said. "I think we're heading back to $95" a barrel.
"I am expecting a very good jobs report tomorrow and that could potentially give crude oil a further lift," said Again Capital trader John Kilduff.
Kilduff said that oil had picked up additional strength from a weakening in the dollar. Because oil is traded in dollars, any decline in the dollar can boost demand from traders using weaker currencies.
On Thursday, the European Central Bank announced it was keeping interest rates flat rather than cutting them.
The drop in Brent oil followed news that North Sea supply resumed from the Buzzard oil field and at a pipeline system.