US oil ends higher; week-long win streak best since July

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U.S. oil eked out gains on Friday, sealing its biggest weekly percentage gain since July, supported by the outlook for increased demand after strong jobs data from the United States, the world's top oil consumer.

The employment report added to a week's worth of strong economic reports, including an upward revision of third-quarter gross domestic product growth. Stronger equity markets also lifted oil prices.

However, the gains were curbed by speculation the positive data would push up the date that the U.S. Federal Reserve begins unwinding its bond-buying program, which could reduce support for riskier assets such as oil and other commodities.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 203,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest since November 2008, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday. The November data took into account federal workers who were counted as jobless in October returning to work after a 16-day partial shutdown of the government.

U.S. crude gained 27 cents to settle at $97.65 a barrel, after initially falling on the jobs report. The contract was headed for a 5.4 percent gain this week, its largest weekly percentage gain since July 5.

Brent crude was up 60 cents over $111 a barrel.

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