Oil advanced for a third day as U.S. employers added fewer jobs in August than forecast, stoking speculation the Federal Reserve will bolster stimulus measures.
Crude rose as much as 1.1 percent after a Labor Department report showed U.S. employers hired 96,000 workers last month following a revised 141,000 increase in July, pushing the dollar lower against the euro. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who also has vowed to hold the key interest rate at virtually zero until late 2014, said last week unemployment was of “grave concern.’’ Policy makers meet next week.
“Prices are going to be underpinned by expectations of further quantitative easing,” Michael Hewson, an analyst at CMC Markets in London, said by phone. “The jobs numbers are bad news in terms of the headline figure, but the unemployment rate is also down.”
Crude for October delivery was at $96.36 a barrel, up 83 cents, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 1:57 p.m. London time.
Brent oil for October settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was at $114.25 a barrel, up 76 cents.
Unemployment unexpectedly fell to 8.1 percent, and hourly earnings were unchanged, according to the Labor Department.
The dollar weakened 1.1 percent to $1.2768 versus the euro.