Traders see demand in decline with unemployment rate higher

Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:33 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices took a jolt Friday, dropping under $85 per barrel after a Labor Department report that said the U.S. unemployment rate rose in October.

The rate rose from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent, in line with expectations, but enough to put a backspin on oil prices. Higher unemployment implies demand will decline.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery gave up $2.29 cents to $84.80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Reformulated gasoline in recent trading added 0.044 cents to $2.578 a gallon. Home heating oil shed 0.8 cents to hit $2.9554 a gallon.

Natural gas lost 0.5 cents to reach $3.549 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.496, down from Thursday's $3.507, AAA reported.

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