Oil falls following US unemployment figuresThursday 31 January 2013 22.37
The price of oil has fallen as US unemployment claims rose more than expected.
Benchmark oil for March delivery fell 45c to close at $97.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil is still rose more than $5 for the month of January, giving it the biggest monthly increase since August.
The US government said the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week, although it remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring.
Traders will get a further indication about the strength of the jobs market tomorrow, when the Labour Department issues the closely followed monthly non-farm payrolls report.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 65 cents to $115.55 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.