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Oil Slips, Trimming Weekly Gain as U.S. Jobs Recovery Falters

Oil fell, trimming its biggest weekly gain in a month on signs that economic recovery is struggling in the U.S., the world’s largest crude consumer.

Futures gave up earlier gains after Labor Department figures showed U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast in November and the unemployment rate unexpectedly increased, vindicating the Federal Reserve’s decision to pump more money into the economy to spur growth.

Oil for January delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange fell as much as 58 cents to $87.42 and was at $87.71 a barrel at 1:35 p.m. London time. It earlier rose to $88.33 a barrel, the highest price since Nov. 11, and is up 4.5 percent this week. Brent crude for January on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London was down 23 cents at $90.46 a barrel after reaching a two-year high of $91.13 a barrel.

Payrolls increased 39,000, less than the most pessimistic projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, after a revised 172,000 increase the prior month, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The jobless rate rose to 9.8 percent, the highest since April, while hours worked and earnings stagnated.

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