Oil prices fall on dismal US jobs report

Reported by AAP
Saturday, April 6, 2013

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Global oil prices have fallen further after a dismal US jobs report renewed concerns about the strength of the world's biggest economy and traders kept an eye on Iran nuclear talks.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May, closed on Friday at $US92.70 ($A89.25) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 56 cents from Thursday.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May dived $US2.22 to settle at $US104.12 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

The highly anticipated jobs market report fell far short of market expectations.

The Labor Department said the United States added just 88,000 jobs in March. The unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 per cent from 7.7 per cent in February, but only because people dropped out of the workforce.

"Clearly the market was disappointed" in the weak job creation and the shrinking labour pool, said Andy Lipow, an independent analyst.

"With people leaving the workforce, then they don't have the disposable income to spend" and keep up momentum in the economy, Lipow said.

Also in focus were talks under way between Iran and six world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Iran and the so-called P5+1 -- the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany -- failed on Friday to reach a breakthrough in the dispute over Iran's contested nuclear program.

Iran insists it is for peaceful purposes but the P5+1, which also includes Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, suspect it masks a nuclear weapons program. The talks were set to resume on Saturday.

The talks also put pressure on oil prices because there was "a little bit of a less geopolitical risk premium," said Bart Melek of TD Securities.

James Williams of WTRG Economics noted that WTI had fallen 4.2 per cent and Brent was down 4.1 per cent over the prior two days.

"Behind the moves were an increase in US crude stocks and a series of negative economic reports in the US and Europe," he said.

AFP

25/07/2014 07:43Sydney, Australia. 25 July,2014
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