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US oil prices rise after jobs report; Brent falls

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

World oil prices closed mixed Friday as the key New York futures contract edged higher despite a stronger dollar bolstered by a better-than-expected US jobs report.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April, settled at $91.95 a barrel, a gain of 39 cents from Thursday's close.

A barrel of Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April dropped 30 cents to $110.83 in London trade.

The New York session digested a surprise fall in the US unemployment rate to 7.7 percent in February from 7.9 percent in January that, though welcome, was partly a result of people dropping out of the work force.

The Labor Department also reported the US added 236,000 jobs last month, much more than expected.

The upbeat headline numbers for the troubled US jobs market fed hopes that the world's largest economy was strengthening, sending the dollar higher.

A stronger dollar tends to curb demand for the dollar-priced commodity.

Brent oil for April, the European benchmark, was weighed down for a second day by the reopening of a North Sea pipeline system.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) said Thursday it had begun the process of restoring the flow of an estimated 80,000 barrels per day of crude oil in the Brent pipeline system. The supply was crippled after a precautionary shutdown of a platform Saturday due to a leak.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130308/us-oil-prices-rise-after-jobs-report-brent-falls