Oil falls slightly to below $91 in Asia

Associated Press

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil fell slightly to below $91 a barrel Monday in Asia, maintaining most of the big gains from the previous session after the U.S. reported better than expected jobs growth.

Benchmark crude was down 50 cents at $90.90 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $4.27 on Friday to settle at $91.40 in New York.

In London, Brent crude was down 24 cents at $108.70 on the ICE Futures exchange.

The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July, the most since February. The stronger jobs growth boosted investor optimism that the U.S. economy is improving and helped fuel a stock market rally Friday that continued in Asia on Monday. Stocks were slightly lower in early trading in Europe.

Crude has jumped from $77 in June as fears of a global recession faded. But some analysts expect global oil supplies will likely recover from a spate of recent outages and push prices lower.

"Given the evolving supply picture, we retain the view that Brent crude prices are likely soon to find resistance and converge back toward $95," J.P. Morgan said in a report.

In other Nymex energy trading, wholesale gasoline futures were down 1.4 cents at $2.92 a gallon and heating oil slid 0.3 cent to $2.92. Natural gas fell 6.7 cents at $2.81 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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