* U.S. adds 175,000 jobs in May - Labor Department
* Job gains revive speculation over stimulus
* New outage at North Sea Buzzard oilfield
(Updates prices to settlement, adds CFTC data)
By Anna Louie Sussman
NEW YORK, June 7 Brent crude oil rose $1 a
barrel on Friday as data pointing to modest gains in U.S. hiring
gave U.S. stock markets a boost, taking crude along for the
The United States added 175,000 jobs last month, Labor
Department data showed, just above the median forecast in a
Investors read the figure as high enough to indicate an
ongoing recovery, but low enough to soothe concerns that the
U.S. Federal Reserve might end its stimulus efforts sooner than
expected. All three major U.S. stock indexes traded up around 1
percent by mid-afternoon.
The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage
point to 7.6 percent, with the increase seen as encouraging
since it was driven by more workers entering the labor force.
Brent crude settled up 95 cents at $104.56 a barrel.
During the session, the contract traded as high as $105 and
below $103. Brent clocked a 4 percent weekly gain, its strongest
since July 2012.
U.S. oil gained $1.27 to settle at $96.03 a barrel,
heading for the strongest weekly gain since April 26 at 4.5
Oil analyst Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates
observed in a research note that the 4.5 percent gain "simply
provided an offset to a 4 percent price decline across the prior
"This type of 'chop' is likely to continue through the rest
of this month amidst conflicting macroeconomic signals that have
been pushing bearish oil balances to the backburner,"
Brent and U.S. crude dipped just after the release of the
jobs data at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) but began to rise when
U.S. stock markets opened an hour later.
"Oil is taking a cue from the equity market, which obviously
liked the employment data," said John Kilduff, a partner at
Again Capital LLC in New York.
"The upside surprise versus expectation is signaling further
economic improvement and energy demand."
The Fed's policy-setting committee meets on June 18-19. With
data ranging from manufacturing to consumer spending showing the
economy hit a soft patch early in the second quarter, it is
unlikely the U.S. central bank will announce at that meeting a
lessening of the $85 billion in bonds it is buying each month.
Tropical Storm Andrea was moving close to Fayetteville,
North Carolina on Friday afternoon, which traders said supported
"No one wants to be short on the weekend with a potential
storm coming," said Bill Baruch, senior market strategist at
iitrader.com in Chicago, Illinois.
Brent had been supported on Thursday by news that the
Buzzard oilfield in the UK North Sea had suffered a production
outage, the second in less than a week. The field's normal
production is about 200,000 barrels per day.
News of a fall in U.S. oil inventories also supported
prices, particularly the U.S. benchmark. Crude stocks at the
Cushing, Oklahoma oil hub declined more than 1 million barrels
between May 31 and June 4, energy industry intelligence service
Genscape reported Thursday.
Money managers and other large speculators cut their net
long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to
June 4, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
said on Friday.
The speculator group cut its combined futures and options
position in New York and London by 7,455 contracts to 243,076
during the period.
(Additional reporting by Ron Bousso in London, Manash Goswami
in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson, David Gregorio and Chizu