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Oil falls ahead of U.S. monthly report on employment

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BANGKOK - The price of crude oil fell slightly Friday, a day after posting its biggest jump since late last year, as traders awaited the release of a closely watched U.S. employment report.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 26 cents to US$93.73 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices rose more than 3 per cent Thursday as the European Central Bank cut its key interest rate to a new low and U.S. unemployment benefit claims dropped. The contract rose $2.96, or 3.3 per cent, to finish at $93.99 a barrel, the biggest one-day gain for crude since November.

Later Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will release its monthly employment report for April, which could show whether weak hiring in March was a temporary lull or a more significant trend.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices of oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, fell 23 cents to $102.62 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.7 cent to $2.773 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 0.8 cent to $2.848 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 0.4 cent to $4.029 per 1,000 cubic feet.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/130502/oil-stabilizes-near-91-day-after-prices-drop-bulging-supplie