BANGKOK – The price of oil extended gains above $103 a barrel Monday after a stronger-than-expected jump in U.S. hiring suggested demand for fuels will increase.
Benchmark crude for August delivery was up 18 cents at $103.40 at early afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The contract on Friday jumped $1.98 to close at $103.22 in New York after the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers added a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The job growth suggests a stronger economy.
Oil has also been pushed higher by instability in Egypt where Mohammed Morsi was ousted as president by the military last week.
Egypt is not an oil producer, but its control of the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, gives it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies.
Brent crude was up 28 cents at $108 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was up 0.2 cent at $2.899 per gallon.
— Natural gas added 2.1 cents to $3.638 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil gained 0.2 cent to $2.992 per gallon.