Oil prices rose today as traders took their cue from the stock market after some initial concern about the latest report on US employment.

Benchmark oil for March delivery rose 22 cents to $97.71 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up $1.33 to $116.88 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London

US employers added 157,000 jobs in January, and hiring was much stronger at the end of 2012 than previously thought, the Labor Department said.

But there was one negative sign - the unemployment rate rose to 7.9% from 7.8% in December.

Oil dropped about $1 right after the report was released but turned around as US stock markets opened higher.

A separate report also showed US manufacturing activity grew at a faster pace in January, which is a good sign for oil demand.