Published October 05, 2012
BANGKOK – Oil prices retreated a day after posting big gains as traders turned their attention to the release later Friday of a monthly U.S. jobs report.
Benchmark oil for November delivery was down 33 cents to $91.38 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, tensions between Syria and Turkey gave oil prices their biggest jump in two months. Oil settled at $91.71 per barrel, up by $3.57, or 4 percent in New York.
The price of oil rose after Turkey's military fired on targets in Syria for the second day. The Middle East and North Africa account for about a third of global oil production. Any tension in the region makes traders nervous about a disruption to supplies.
Oil also got a boost from a falling dollar, which tends to influence investors to buy commodities like oil and gold.
The U.S. Labor Department will later Friday release September employment data — a key indicator for growth in the world's largest economy. The widely anticipated report has taken on added importance in the heat of the U.S. presidential race.
"As far as today goes, all eyes will be on the U.S. jobs report," said oil analyst Stephen Schork in an email commentary.
Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 54 cents to $112.04.
Among other energy futures traded in New York:
— Natural gas rose 1.6 cents to $3.422 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil fell 1.3 cents to $3.176 per gallon.
— Wholesale gasoline fell 1.4 cents to $2.929 per gallon.