Oil prices mixed after weak US jobs report
Singapore: Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade on Monday after a tepid US jobs report last week raised concerns about demand in the world's top crude consumer, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, shed two cents to USD 106.92 a barrel in morning trade, and Brent North Sea crude for September rose nine cents to USD 109.04.
The Labor Department on Friday said the United States added 162,000 jobs in July, well below the 175,000 expected on average by analysts. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 per cent from 7.6 per cent in June.
"The mixed US jobs report came in weaker than expected and that has created a somewhat bearish sentiment about demand for crude," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said.
"The weekend release of a slightly improved Chinese non-manufacturing PMI failed to negate the effects of tepid jobs data in the US," Chua said.
China's official non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI)for July came in at 54.1 in July, from 53.9 in the previous month.
A reading below 50 indicates contraction, while anything above signals growth.
Oil prices had rallied last week on the back of strong manufacturing data from oil guzzlers the US and China, with Brent crude reaching a near four-month high above USD 110 a barrel before giving way in the wake of Friday's US employment data.