Oil slips after posting biggest gain in 2 months

Associated Press
Gas prices are seen over $4.00 a gallon, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 in Twin Mountain, N.H. The price of oil is higher after tensions rose between Syria and Turkey. Oil rose to $89.21 a barrel Thursday morning, a jump of $1.06, or 1.2 percent, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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Gas prices are seen over $4.00 a gallon, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 in Twin Mountain, N.H. The price of oil is higher after tensions rose between Syria and Turkey. Oil rose to $89.21 a barrel Thursday morning, a jump of $1.06, or 1.2 percent, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

The price of oil retreated to around $91 a barrel on Friday after posting big gains, as traders turned their attention to the release later in the day of a monthly U.S. jobs report.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was down 70 cents to $91.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, tensions between Syria and Turkey gave oil prices their biggest jump in two months. Oil settled at $91.71 per barrel, up by $3.57, or 4 percent, in New York.

The price of oil rose after Turkey's military fired on targets in Syria for the second day. The Middle East and North Africa account for about a third of global oil production. Any tension in the region makes traders nervous about a disruption to supplies.

Oil also got a boost from a falling dollar, which tends to influence investors to buy commodities like oil and gold.

On the other hand, crude prices were weighed down by comments from Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi, who said Thursday that supplies were plentiful and and that there was room, if necessary, for output increases.

The U.S. Labor Department will later Friday release September employment data — a key indicator for growth in the world's largest economy. The widely anticipated report has taken on added importance in the heat of the U.S. presidential race.

"As far as today goes, all eyes will be on the U.S. jobs report," said oil analyst Stephen Schork in an email commentary.

In London, Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 67 cents to $111.91.

Among other energy futures traded in New York:

— Natural gas retreated 0.9 cents to $3.397 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil fell 2.88 cents to $3.1596 per gallon.

— Wholesale gasoline was down 0.32 cent to $2.9397 per gallon.

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Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.

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