NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil jumped 5 percent Friday after the government reported a sharp rise in jobs growth for July.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose $4.27 to $91.40 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which sets the price for oil imported into the U.S., climbed $3.08, 2.9 percent, to $108.98 per barrel in London.
Prices climbed after the government said U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July. Last month's hiring was the best since February, though it wasn't enough to drive down the unemployment rate. Prices for oil and gasoline tend to rise on signs of strength in the economy, which increases energy demand.
"There's a lot of optimism following the jobs report," said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service. Also, the number of new jobs wasn't enough to dissuade investors that the U.S. Federal Reserve could take more action to spur growth, he said.
After rising sharply the first three weeks of July, the price of oil steadied as investors waited to see if central banks in the U.S. and Europe would announce new stimulus measures.
Retail gasoline prices rose 3.3 cents to a national average of $3.567 per gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Gasoline prices have jumped by about 24 cents per gallon since the beginning of July.
In other futures trading, heating oil added 7.92 cents to $2.9215 per gallon while wholesale gasoline added 7.25 cents to $2.9421 per gallon. Natural gas was flat at $2.924 per 1,000 cubic feet.