Oil edges up as dollar weakens late in day
Oil prices edged slightly higher yesterday after the government reported the fewest monthly job losses in a year.
Benchmark crude for October delivery rose 6 cents to settle at $68.02 a barrel in on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Labor Department said yesterday that the unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August, the government said.
“Not as many people working means they are not consuming energy,’’ PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said.
Oil prices initially slumped when the employment figures came out, but the dollar began to weaken later in the day, helping to push oil prices higher. Because crude is priced in the US currency, it essentially becomes cheaper when the dollar falls.
Oil prices are off about $5 this week as the summer driving season concludes with the Labor Day weekend. Demand for gasoline typically weakens during the fall. At the same time, supplies remain ample.