BANGKOK – The price of crude oil fell slightly Friday, a day after posting its biggest jump since late last year, as traders awaited the release of a closely watched U.S. employment report.
Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 26 cents to $93.73 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Prices rose more than 3 percent Thursday as the European Central Bank cut its key interest rate to a new low and U.S. unemployment benefit claims dropped. The contract rose $2.96, or 3.3 percent, to finish at $93.99 a barrel, the biggest one-day gain for crude since November.
Later Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will release its monthly employment report for April, which could show whether weak hiring in March was a temporary lull or a more significant trend.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices of oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, fell 23 cents to $102.62 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.7 cent to $2.773 a gallon.
— Heating oil fell 0.8 cent to $2.848 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 0.4 cent to $4.029 per 1,000 cubic feet.