Oil price fell on Thursday as a report said U.S. crude oil inventory surprisingly increased last week, but upbeat U.S. job data helped to pare the loss.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude oil supplies rose 2.2 million barrels last week, which surprised investors who had expected a decline.
The EIA also reported that gasoline inventories rose 2.5 million barrels, also topping expectations.
The increased energy supply pressured on the oil prices as the oil futures snapped a two-day winning streak on Thursday.
A strong dollar on Thursday also contributed to the weakness of the oil as the euro dipped to below 1.29 against the dollar on concerns about the European banks.
However, positive U.S. job data helped to trim the losses. U.S. Payrolls processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported that private sector employment climbed 325,000 in December, much stronger than expected.
Also, the U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped by 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, also beating expectations.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery fell 1.41 dollars, or 1.4 percent to settle at 101.81 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In London, Brent crude for February delivery was slightly up and last traded around 113.98 dollars a barrel, gaining 0.2 percent.