US crude ends near $93 as weak jobs figures spark Fed hopes
Oil rose on Friday as new reports of production problems at a major U.K. oilfield and weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data raised expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may slow the winding down of its commodity-friendly stimulus program.
Brent oil rose on reports of fresh production problems at the North Sea's Buzzard oilfield, two days after an outage at the largest UK oilfield. Buzzard is the largest of the fields that contribute to the Forties crude blend, the most important of the North Sea crudes underpinning the Brent crude benchmark.
In the U.S. market, the unexpectedly weak jobs report triggered a short-term rally from the previous session's 8-month low. U.S. oil futures rose to a session high after the market flirted with technically oversold territory for the first time in two months, but later pared gains.
U.S. employers hired the fewest workers in almost three years in December, though the setback could be temporary amid signs the figure may have been hurt by frigid weather.
The Fed's massive bond-buying program has buoyed the economy as well as commodity and equity markets, and the central bank has been assessing how quickly to taper the program based on the momentum of U.S. economic growth.
Brent crude futures rose 70 cents to above $107 per barrel, after settling 76 cents lower in a volatile session that saw the contract swinging by more than $2.
U.S. oil rose $1.06 to settle at $92.72, pulling off Thursday's swoon to an eight-month low of $91.24. Still, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) finished the week lower for the second straight week.
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