NEW YORK Aug 2 Oil prices fell on Friday after
weak U.S. job numbers disappointed investors, but crude still
posted a weekly gain, and copper closed the day up modestly and
notched its first weekly gain in three weeks.
The spot price of gold rose, sliding early and then
rebounding as the dollar fell after U.S. jobs data for July
showed employers slowing their hiring, with jobs growth of
162,000 below the median forecast of 184,000 in a Reuters poll.
Soybeans rose on technical buying after declines
earlier in the week. Arabica, the premium grade for coffee
, closed up for the first time in six sessions a day after
tumbling to a four-year low.
The 19-commodity Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB index
settled down half a percent, pressured by the drop in
U.S. crude oil, its largest component.
"We've got a pullback from the jobs data, but I suspect we
are also seeing some profit-taking before the weekend," Bob
Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities in New
York, said of the sell-off in crude oil.
The U.S. jobs reading sparked concern among investors who
had been encouraged this week by surprisingly positive global
As late as Thursday, data showed the number of Americans
filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a 5-1/2-year
low last week. A closely watched index of U.S. manufacturing
activity has also hit a two-year high, while a China industrial
index beat expectations and a reading for euro zone
manufacturing returned to growth.
In Friday's session, U.S. crude lost 0.9 percent, or
95 cents, to finish at $106.94 a barrel.
Benchmark Brent crude out of London settled down 59
cents, or 0.6 percent, at $108.95 per barrel.
Both crude grades still posted weekly gains of about 2
Copper closed up after hitting a one-week high, although
gains were capped by caution over the U.S. economic outlook
after the July jobs numbers.
Three-months copper on the London Metal Exchange
closed at $7,005 per tonne, after hitting its highest since July
24 at $7,079 a tonne. On Thursday it was last bid at $6,998.
Copper, used in power and construction, had risen 2.4
percent for the week by the close, its first such gain in three
weeks. It registered a monthly gain of 1.9 percent in July.