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Solid US jobs report lifts New York oil price

Oil prices finished evenly mixed, with the main US futures contract getting a boost from a solid US May jobs report that raised expectations for stronger energy demand.

NEW YORK: Oil prices finished evenly mixed on Friday, with the main US futures contract getting a boost from a solid US May jobs report that raised expectations for stronger energy demand.

The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in July, rose 18 cents to finish at $102.66 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for July fell 18 cents to $108.61 in London.

The US jobs report for May came in a hair below expectations but generally showed the country can still muster solid growth despite the weakness in Europe and other regions.

US employers created more than 200,000 jobs for the fourth straight month in May. A net 217,000 positions were added, nearly all by the private sector.

Energy analyst Andy Lipow said the oil market was "very, very quiet" except for "the rather good jobs report" that supported WTI prices.

"The fact that additional jobs have been created means gasoline demand in 2014 will be higher than in 2013 as we see more people on the road going to work," he said.

Investors continued to digest the European Central Bank's announcement Thursday of a new package of stimulus measures.

"Brent prices have stabilized, possibly assisted by Thursday's ECB stimulus effort," said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.

"The market may remain in consolidation mode ahead of the June 11 OPEC summit."

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