West Texas Intermediate crude rallied to its highest intraday price in a month after the U.S. gained more jobs than forecast, adding to signs of recovery in the world’s largest oil consumer.
WTI climbed as much as 1.8 percent, a second daily advance that extends this week’s increase. Payrolls expanded by 165,000 workers last month following a revised 138,000 increase in March that was larger than first estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 90 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 140,000 gain.
Futures for June delivery rose as much as $1.67 to $95.66 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since April 3. It was at $95.26 as of 1:41 p.m. London time. The volume of all contracts traded was 55 percent more than the 100-day average. WTI advanced 2.5 percent this week.
“Those are indeed good jobs numbers,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark.
Brent for June settlement advanced as much as $1.79 to $104.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It added $2.90 to $102.85 yesterday. The European benchmark was at a premium of $8.99 to WTI. It closed at $8.86 yesterday, the narrowest gap since Dec. 30, 2011.