Crude retreated on Friday, with U.S. oil settling a hair under $107, as U.S. jobs data fell short of expectations and tempered budding optimism underpinning demand expectations in the world's largest economy.
U.S. employers slowed their pace of hiring in July, with the number of jobs outside the farming sector increasing by 162,000, the Labor Department said. That was below the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 184,000. The disappointing number led many investors to sell out of positions after sharp gains in the previous two days.
U.S. crude, or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), settled down 95 cents at $106.94 a barrel, yet managed to post a modest gain on the week.
Brent crude fell 60 cents to under $109 a barrel, after reaching a high for the day of $110.09—its loftiest level since April 3. Brent also posted a weekly increase of more than 1 percent after two weeks of losses.
Oil has "put in a good run this week, but the steam has come out of the rally and traders are waiting for something extra to take it higher," Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said.
Strong U.S. manufacturing data from July, better European factory numbers and healthier-than-expected Chinese industrial data had led to sharp gains over the previous two sessions.