Oil prices rose after four days of declines as the U.S. government released better than expected jobs data and as Turkey attacked Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq near a rich oil field.
The Labor Department reported there was a net loss of 20,000 jobs last month as the unemployment rate slipped to 5 percent from 5.1 percent in March. The government registered 81,000 job losses in March.
Economists commented that the losses are still not good news but they are not as bad as expected. They had forecasted unemployment would rise to 5.2 percent and jobs would fall by 75,000 according to a Bloomberg poll.
Crude oil futures rose $3.08, or 2.74 percent, to $115.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 12:38 p.m. Prices ascended to an all time record high of $119.93 a barrel on Monday and started to fall on Tuesday as the dollar rallied against the euro.
On Friday Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish rebels' bases located in northern Iraq, 100 miles away from the Turkish border, at the center of the region's biggest oil field, according to reports.
The attack affected crude gains today although no reports confirmed any impact on crude production in the region. Iraq is responsible for 3 percent of the world's oil's production.
Supporting prices today, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -which provides more than 40 percent of the world's oil production - may not increase crude oil output as it states the market is well supplied.
OPEC will not increase production of crude oil because what is happening now is not an increase in oil demand, but heavy speculation on oil futures, that's what's making oil prices so high,'' Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah said in an interview in Beirut in the Arab Economic Forum according to Bloomberg.
In Nigeria, Exxon Mobil settled an agreement with a Nigerian oil union to end a strike that lasted for eight days, affecting its production. The country was the fifth-largest crude exporter to the United States in 2007.
In the U.K., Grangemouth refinery started production again easing concerns on supplies from the North Sea. The refinery had entered in a labor strike on April 27 affecting a major pipeline system in the region.
Brent crude futures rose $3.82, or 3.48 percent to reach $115.60 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange today.