Oil prices moved up Friday as the worse-than-expected U.S. job data reduced market concern that the Fed may pick up its pace of tapering.
The U.S. economy added only 74,000 jobs in December, the fewest in three years, but the unemployment rate fell from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Despite a further drop in the jobless rate, the employment growth fell short of economists' expectations for about 200,000 new posts.
The U.S. Federal Reserve announced in December it would cut its monthly bond purchases to 75 billion dollars from 85 billion dollars, and indicated that the further tapering pace would hinge on how many new jobs were created in coming months.
The discouraging jobs data dispersed somewhat speculation that the Fed may quicken its exit from its massive bond buying programs, weighing on the U.S. dollar.
A weaker dollar boosted oil prices by making crude cheaper for countries using other currencies, fueling the demand for oil.
Light, sweet crude for February delivery rose 1.06 U.S. dollars at 92.72 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange,and Brent crude for February delivery gained 86 cents to 107.25 dollars a barrel.