Crude gains on U.S. jobs data, Iran nuclear disarmament weighs

A A A - " Oil prices edged higher on Friday after data revealed the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in October, though progress in talks between Iran and Western diplomats over the Tehran's nuclear ambitions capped gains.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in December traded at USD94.34 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.15%.

The commodity hit a session low of USD93.91 and a high of USD94.69. The December contract settled down 0.63% at USD94.20 a barrel on Thursday.

Oil futures were likely to find support at USD93.11 a barrel, Tuesday's low, and resistance at USD95.40 a barrel, Wednesday's high.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, far surpassing expectations for a 125,000 increase.

The August figure was revised to 238,000 from 193,000, while the September figure was revised
to 163,000 from 148,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3% last month from 7.2% in September, in line with expectations.

The numbers supported oil prices, as a more robust U.S. economy will demand more fuel and energy going forward.

Capping gains, however, were market sentiments that the Federal Reserve could announce plans to scale back its USD85 billion in monthly asset purchases possibly as soon as December now that the labor market is showing signs of improvement.

Asset purchases aim to spur recovery by driving down long-term interest rates, weakening the dollar in the process, and talk of their dismantling strengthens the U.S. currency.

A stronger greenback makes oil a less attractive commodity on dollar-denominated exchanges.

Prices also came under pressure on reports that talks among Iran and Western diplomats are making progress and may eventually lead to a deal that would end Tehran's nuclear weapons ambitions and allow the country to resume exporting oil.

Trade sanctions slapped on Iran due to its alleged nuclear ambitions have taken out more than 1 million barrels per day of oil from the global market.

Meanwhile on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for December delivery were up 1.17% at USD104.68 a barrel, up USD10.34 from its U.S. counterpart. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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