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Oil prices rise after earlier drop

The price of oil recouped some of its recent losses Friday as the market awaited the release of U.S. jobs data that could signal an economic recovery.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for June delivery added 8 cents to US$99.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after losing ground a day earlier when the U.S. Energy Department said oil supplies rose by 1.7 million barrels last week. That pushed the U.S. supply to a record 399.4 million barrels.

Brent crude, an international oil benchmark, added 19 cents to US$107.95 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Markets are closely awaiting the release of U.S. nonfarm payroll data, expected later Friday, as a key indicator of the health of the American economy.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at US$2.94 a gallon.

— Heating oil rose 1 cent to US$2.92 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 2 cents to US$4.74 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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