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Crude Rises After Payrolls Beat Forecasts, Jobless Rate Falls

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Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Oil rose from near a six-week low, narrowing its weekly loss in New York after the U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest in three years.

Payrolls rose by 243,000 last month, the most since April and exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest since February 2009.

“The jobs data shows the economy is gaining momentum,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “This is bullish for risk appetite and therefore for commodity prices. However, it may limit the scope for a third round of quantitative easing, and this may limit gains.”

Crude for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose as much as $1.11 to $97.47 a barrel and was at $96.89 at 1:42 p.m. London time, trimming the contract’s decline this week to 2.7 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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