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Oil falls even after positive US jobs report

The price of fell Friday even after the U.S. government reported an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate.

Oil gained about $1 per barrel immediately after the U.S. jobs report was released, recouping most of its earlier losses. But the price slipped steadily after that initial burst. Benchmark oil is now down $1.25 to $90.46 per barrel in New York.

The U.S. Labor Department said the unemployment rate stands at 7.8 percent, the first time it's been below 8 percent in nearly four years. The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009.

Oil jumped 4 percent on Thursday following a 4 percent decline on Wednesday. Traders are trying to gauge the strength of global oil demand while watching developments surrounding Syria in the Middle East.

In London, Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 8 cents to $112.50.

Among other energy futures traded in New York:

_ Natural gas retreated 1 cent to $3.39 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Heating oil fell 2 cents to $3.17 per gallon.

_ Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.96 per gallon.

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Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.