Arab Today, arab today mideast tensions us jobs data push oil higher
Last Updated : GMT 08:50:52
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Mideast tensions, US jobs data push oil higher

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Mideast tensions, US jobs data push oil higher

London - AFP

Oil prices moved higher Friday aided by rising tensions with Iran and Syria and some promising US jobs figures. New York\'s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in January, climbed 76 cents to $100.96 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for January added 95 cents to $109.94 per barrel at the close. US employment data released Friday saw the national unemployment rate plunge to 8.6 percent from 9.0 percent, a positive sign for the economy. But the data showed that only a middling 120,000 net jobs were created in the month, muting any strong effect on the market. \"The oil prices rallied on the job report this morning which showed some job creation... we were creating jobs and that\'s good news,\" said Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates. \"But that was tempered by the fact that a significant amount of people left the workforce,\" he said. Also supporting higher prices was the US Senate\'s unanimous vote Thursday for harsh new sanctions on Iran, OPEC\'s second largest oil producer, adding to tensions between the West and Tehran over its nuclear program. In addition, on Friday Royal Dutch Shell said it was ceasing operations in Syria because of ongoing unrest and in line with EU sanctions on Damascus, though France\'s Total was to remain at work there. \"Shell will cease its activities in compliance with sanctions,\" a company spokesman told AFP. According to an industry expert in Damascus, Syria\'s oil output has collapsed from 340,000 barrels per day to 120,000 barrels a day due to the narrowing of export outlets. Shell and Total are the two leading foreign oil companies operating in Syria. Shell\'s partner, the Al-Furat Petroleum Company, is half-owned by the government\'s General Petroleum Corporation, targeted in the new EU sanctions Friday. But Total\'s Syrian partner Deir Ez Zor Petroleum is not on the EU blacklist.

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