AP News

Oil down toward $95 as US jobs momentum fades


The price of oil edged down on Monday as enthusiasm over last week's strong U.S. jobs report faded.

The benchmark oil contract for June delivery was down 44 cents to $95.17 per barrel by midafternoon in Europe in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract jumped $1.62 on Friday after a report showed U.S. employers added a surprisingly solid 165,000 jobs in April. That drove down the unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.5 percent and suggested the U.S. economic recovery may be gathering pace.

Demand for oil tends to increase when the economy picks up, as factories produce more, people drive more and businesses use more fuel to ship goods.

Prices had rallied temporarily earlier on Monday on news of an Israeli military strike in Syria, raising concern of an expansion in conflict in the oil-rich Mideast region. But the market eased back down as European trading began.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices of oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, was down 14 cents to $104.05 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.01 cent to $2.82 a gallon.

— Heating oil was flat at $2.88 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 0.8 cents to $4.033 per 1,000 cubic feet.


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