* U.S. jobs data rise 113,000 below the 185,000 forecast
* Tighter North Sea supplies support Brent
(Recasts after non-farm payrolls data)
By Christopher Johnson and Simon Falush
LONDON, Feb 7 Brent crude oil slipped to around
$107 a barrel on Friday as U.S. jobs data raised concern about
prospects for demand growth for the world's top oil consumer.
U.S. employers hired far fewer workers than expected in
January and job gains for the prior month were barely revised
up, suggesting a loss of momentum in the economy, even as the
unemployment rate hit a new five-year low of 6.6 percent.
Nonfarm payrolls rose only 113,000, the Labor Department
said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast
payrolls increasing 185,000 last month.
"We're still essentially going sideways with some negative
momentum given what we are seeing in the emerging markets and
China in recent weeks," said Simon Wardell, analyst at Global
"The jobs report just piles on to that. The direction is
generally slightly down."
Brent crude was down 10 cents at $107.09 by 1340
GMT, after rising 0.9 percent in the previous session - its
biggest daily gain since Jan. 22.
U.S. crude was down 40 cents at $97.44, squeezed by
expectations of lower U.S. domestic demand during the peak
refinery maintenance season over the next few months.
Brent's premium to the U.S. benchmark CL-LCO1=R was around
$9.70 a barrel. The spread narrowed to $7.94 a barrel on
Wednesday, the tightest since Oct. 10.
Tighter supply of North Sea crude in March could support the
Brent benchmark. Loading of the four crude streams Brent,
Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk (BFOE) will average 890,000 barrels
per day (bpd) in March, down from an expected 1.03 million bpd
in February, according to loading programmes.
Investors will also keep a close eye on Saturday's talks
with Iran as the U.N. nuclear watchdog hopes to persuade the
Islamic state to start addressing long-held suspicions it has
worked on designing a nuclear bomb.
Tough international sanctions over the past two years have
cut Iran's oil exports in half.
(Additional reporting by Ron Bousso and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen
in Singapore; Editing by William Hardy)