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The price of oil rose Tuesday as the dollar fell against the euro following weak U.S. jobs data. Benchmark oil for May delivery was up 32 cents to $93.68 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 66 cents to finish at $93.36 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.
Analysts attributed the rise in oil prices to the rebound of the euro against the dollar. A weaker dollar makes oil, which is traded in dollars, more affordable for investors holding other currencies. The euro rose to $1.3047 from $1.3007 late Monday in New York.
Matt Basi of CMC Markets attributed the dollar's slip to "the slew of poor US employment figures last week." The Labor Department issued a monthly jobs report Friday that surprised analysts with its weakness. The gain of 88,000 jobs in March was the smallest in nine months. The unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.6 percent, but that was only because more people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. Other data showed an increased in claims for unemployment benefits.
Brent crude, which sets the price of oil used by many U.S. refineries to make gasoline, was up 44 cents to $105.10 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
- Heating oil rose 0.9 cent to $2.963 per gallon.
- Wholesale gasoline rose 1.5 cents to $2.924 per gallon.
- Natural gas rose 1 cent to $4.092 per 1,000 cubic feet.