Commodities: Crude rises after strong data



LONDON (ShareCast) - Crude oil futures prices rose on Friday with momentum underpinned by the latest US jobs and manufacturing data.

Crude oil for March delivery settled up 26 cents at $97.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil futures ended with a weekly gain of 2%.

The US Labor Department said payrolls rose by 157,000 in January, after a revised gain of 196,000 in December and 247,000 in November (Xetra: A0Z24E - news) .

The unemployment rate contracted by 0.1 percentage points month-on-month to 7.8%. The average hourly earnings of all employees rose 0.2%, better than forecasts of 0.1%.

A separate survey from the Institute for Supply Management reported that activity for US manufacturers in January strengthened to 53.1%, the highest level since April (Paris: FR0004037125 - news) .

Another report revealed a surge in December construction spending and a rise in January consumer sentiment.

Focus on Friday also turned to reports by Enterprise Products Partners, operators of the Seaway Pipeline, said the bottleneck at its pipeline should be resolved by the fourth quarter.

The news boosted hopes that the Seaway pipeline will help reduce the glut of oil supplies in storage at Cushing, Okla., the trading hub for Nymex oil.

Over on the ICE futures exchange March North Sea Brent advanced $1.21 to settle at $116.76 a barrel. Brent climbed 3.1% or $3.48 a barrel over the week.

Among precious metals gold advanced 0.5% on Friday as investors cheered upbeat US jobs data while the weaker dollar also helped fuel demand.

Gold for April delivery climbed $8.60 to settle at $1,670.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.