Oil falls below $100 after weak US jobs figures

Updated at 5:14 a.m.

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices fell below $100 a barrel Monday in Asia after new indications of slowing U.S. economic growth ahead of an OPEC meeting this week.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was down $1 to $99.22 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 18 cents to settle at $100.22 on Friday.

In London, Brent crude for July delivery was down 93 cents to $114.91 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Investors will be closely watching Wednesday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna. The 12-member cartel, which produces about 40 percent of global crude supplies, will be debating whether to boost production to help lower prices.

Traders are also gauging the impact of a weaker U.S. economy on consumer spending. The Labor Department said Friday the U.S. added 54,000 jobs in May, the fewest in eight months. During the previous three months, the economy added an average of 220,000 jobs per month.

“We are focusing our attention on the OPEC meeting and the fallout from Friday’s jobs data,” energy consultant The Schork Report said. “Last week issued daily telltales that the pace of the U.S. economic recovery is in serious doubt.”

In other Nymex trading in July contracts, heating oil fell 1.6 cents to $3.04 a gallon and gasoline dropped 2.3 cents to $2.97 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 8.4 cents to $4.79 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Earlier coverage, posted at 12:55 a.m.

SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices hovered above $100 a barrel Monday in Asia as traders eyed this week’s OPEC meeting and mulled signs of slowing U.S. economic growth that could undermine crude demand.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was down eight cents to $100.14 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 18 cents to settle at $100.22 on Friday.

In London, Brent crude for July delivery was down 45 cents to $115.39 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Investors will be closely watching Wednesday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna. The 12-member cartel, which produces about 40 percent of global crude output, will be debating whether to boost production to help lower prices.

Traders are also gauging the impact of a weaker U.S. economy on consumer spending. The Labor Department said Friday the U.S. added 54,000 jobs in May, the fewest in eight months. During the previous three months, the economy added an average of 220,000 jobs per month.

“We are focusing our attention on the OPEC meeting and the fallout from Friday’s jobs data,” energy consultant The Schork Report said. “Last week issued daily telltales that the pace of the U.S. economic recovery is in serious doubt.”

In other Nymex trading in July contracts, heating oil was steady at $3.06 a gallon and gasoline dropped 0.9 cent to $2.98 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 6 cents to $4.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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