Crude oil prices rose Friday after a weaker than expected US employment report fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will launch new economic support. The crude markets continued to benefit from the European Central Bank announcement Thursday of a bond-buying plan to support weak eurozone economies. New York\'s main contract, light sweet crude for October, finished with a gain of 89 cents at $96.42 a barrel. In London trade, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October climbed 76 cents to $114.25 a barrel. The much-awaited US government employment report Friday showed the United States added only 96,000 jobs in August and downward revisions to the two prior months. \"In light of the soft labor market figures, we now expect the Fed to ease next week by announcing a new asset purchase program and extending its low-rate guidance,\" Barclays analysts said. Matt Smith at Summit Energy said that oil prices fell just after the US jobs report, but recovered as investors bet on new Fed stimulus for the world\'s biggest oil-consuming country. Meanwhile, there was market speculation about a US release of strategic petroleum reserves. Following the US government\'s report Thursday of a larger than expected decline in crude oil supplies, rumors swirled that President Barack Obama\'s administration was getting ready for a reserves release aimed at easing gasoline prices ahead of the November 6 election. \"The government is quite concerned about the rising gasoline prices at this time of the year going into the election, trying to figure out what they can do to mitigate those price rises that are affecting the consumer,\" said Andy Lipow at Lipow Oil Associates.