U.S. crude prices fell sharply on Friday as the government and suppliers have taken measures to deal with the fuel shortage in Northeast U.S. caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Crude prices fell after the U.S. Homeland Security Department issued a temporary, blanket waiver of Jones Act, allowing foreign oil tankers coming from the Gulf of Mexico to enter U.S. Northeastern ports. The new effort is intended to help ease a fuel shortage in the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Gasoline futures also declined as oil tankers and pipelines supplying New Jersey and the New York Harbor restored more operations after Sandy passed.
The pressure from more supplies made investors shrug off the U. S. positive payrolls report for October and other economic data
The nonfarm sector added 171,000 new jobs last month, more than the 125,000 monthly level that economists expected, reported the Labor Department on Friday. The U.S. unemployment rate rose a notch to 7.9 percent in October with modest improvement in job gains, but still under the critical level of 8 percent.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that new orders for U.S. manufactured goods rose 4.8 percent in September, evidence that the U.S. manufacturing sector was gaining momentum.
Meanwhile, the dollar rose both against the euro and the Japanese yen. A stronger dollar made the dollar-denominated crude more expensive for foreign investors, pushing down the prices.
Light, sweet crude for December delivery declined 2.23 dollars, or 2.56 percent to settle at 84.86 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It registered a third straight weekly fall of 1.42 dollars, or 1.64 percent.
Brent crude for December delivery dropped 2.49 dollars, or 2.36 percent to close at 105.68 dollars a barrel. Brent also posted a third consecutive weekly loss of 3.87 dollars, or 3.5 percent.