Oil gained in New York, capping the biggest weekly advance in three months, after U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in December.
Prices increased 17 cents after the Labor Department said payrolls rose by 155,000 workers last month, exceeding the 152,000 forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Futures were down for most of the day as the Energy Department reported gasoline and distillate fuel supplies jumped a combined 7.14 million barrels last week.
Rich Ilczyszyn, chief market strategist and founder of Iitrader.com in Chicago, commented:
The payroll number is stronger than expected and it gives the market a boost. The large build in gasoline and distillates put a lid on oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery settled at $93.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The grade advanced 2.5 percent this week, the most since Sept. 14.
Brent for February settlement dropped 83 cents, or 0.7 percent, to end at $111.31 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The North Sea grade was $18.22 more than WTI, compared with $19.22 yesterday.
Trading volume in WTI was 4.8 percent above the 100-day average at 3:55 p.m. in New York, while Brent was 8.1 percent higher.
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