Oil rises on anticipation of improved jobs report

The price of oil rose as traders anticipated positive news in the monthly U.S. jobs report.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery gained 67 cents Thursday to close at $100.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of oil, rose $1.36 to $106.15 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

The Labor Department releases its March employment report Friday. Economists project that employers added 191,000 workers last month, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be an improvement from February, when employers added 175,000 positions.

"We are still viewing the non-farm payrolls report as a key determinant as to how the complex finishes this week," wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note to clients. "We feel that surprises are more apt to be favorable."

After Thursday's gain, oil is down 38 cents so far this week.

In other energy futures trading in New York.

-- Wholesale gasoline added 5 cents to $2.91 a gallon.

-- Natural gas jumped 11 cents to $4.47 per 1,000 cubic feet.

-- Heating oil gained 4 cents to $2.91 a gallon.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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