Oil slips as strong dollar offsets jobs data

Friday 08 March 2013 16.48
Oil prices down due to stronger dollar
Oil prices down due to stronger dollar

The price of oil was down slightly today, as a strong US jobs report was offset by gains in the dollar.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 22 cents to $91.34 a barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by US refineries, was down $1.03 at $110.12 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The falling price was attributed to the reopening of a North Sea pipeline carrying 90,000 barrels a day and which had been shut down for repairs.

The US government said employers added 236,000 jobs last month, far exceeding economist predictions. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%. That could signal increased demand for oil products if more drivers are joining the daily commute.

But the report also gave support to the US dollar against the euro, yen and other currencies. A stronger dollar makes oil a less enticing investment for traders using those other currencies.

Crude prices have not benefited much from the optimism in stock markets, which has led to record highs on the Dow Jones this week. In fact, oil prices are near their lows for the year due to lingering concerns about global economic growth and ample crude supplies in the US.

Keywords: oil, brent