US crude prices Friday fell 2 percent on demand concerns despite the better-than-expected US nonfarm job data.
Demand concerns caused by weak global economic growth and uncertainties in resolving the European debt crisis continued to weigh heavily on the crude market and pushed down prices, even though the US jobs data came in strong on Friday.
The US Labor Department said the unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest level since 2009 and beating market expectations. Total non-farm payrolls added 114,000 in the month, higher than 960,000 in August.
But the surprising jobs report sparked among some investors and traders the speculation that the Labor Department was manipulating the jobs data. On CNBC television, US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said that the speculation was "ludicrous."
Moreover, there were worries among crude traders about the possible fiscal cliff, which could be a big shock to the markets. And the idea of a release of strategic oil reserves still lingered and pressured crude prices.
For Brent crude, the Turkey-Syria conflict continued to offer supports and therefore limited the declines.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday his country was "not interested in war (with Syria), but not far from it either," indicating a war remained as an option on the table.
Besides, tension between Iran and the West was still posing risks to oil supplies.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery lost 1.83 dollars, or 2.00 percent, to settle at 89.88 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for October delivery fell moderately by 56 cents, or 0.50 percent to close at 112.02 dollars a barrel.