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Oil rises on anticipation of improved jobs report

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery gained 67 cents Thursday to close at $100.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Associated Press

4/3/2014

NEW YORK — The price of oil rose as traders anticipated positive news in the monthly U.S. jobs report.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery gained 67 cents Thursday to close at $100.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of oil, rose $1.36 to $106.15 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The Labor Department releases its March employment report Friday. Economists project that employers added 191,000 workers last month, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be an improvement from February, when employers added 175,000 positions.

"We are still viewing the non-farm payrolls report as a key determinant as to how the complex finishes this week," wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note to clients. "We feel that surprises are more apt to be favorable."

After Thursday's gain, oil is down 38 cents a barrel so far this week.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline added 5 cents to $2.91 a gallon.

— Natural gas jumped 11 cents to $4.47 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil gained 4 cents to $2.91 a gallon.

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