Oil rises on solid gain in US hiring; gasoline up

The price of oil crept up to near $102 a barrel Friday after a solid increase in U.S. employment and a decline in the dollar.

Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery rose $1.02 to close at $102.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After a swing in prices earlier in the week due to the situation in Ukraine, oil ended the week with a loss of 1 cent.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, gained 90 cents to $109 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The brutal winter weather didn't faze U.S. employers, who added 175,000 jobs, far more than the two previous months. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent, but that was because more people grew optimistic about their job prospects and began seeking work.

The dollar fell against other currencies, helping oil. A weak dollar encourages holders of other currencies to buy dollar-denominated assets such as oil.

At the gas pump, the average price for a gallon of gas across the U.S. rose 1 cent to $3.48. That's 21 cents higher than a month ago, but still 24 cents cheaper than at this time last year.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to $2.97 per gallon.

— Heating oil added 3 cents to $3.01 per gallon.

— Natural gas fell 4 cents to $4.62 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • Does This Make Sense?
    Jason Rantz questions Inslee's plan to fund transportation with carbon pollution tax

  • Big Release
    Michael Medved takes a look at whether the latest Hobbit film is worth your interest

  • Holiday Map
    Find holiday events, Santa photo opportunities, and light displays
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.