The price of oil bounced between small gains and losses Friday after the latest report on hiring in the U.S. offered a mixed picture of the economy.
Benchmark oil fell 10 cents to $86.15 per barrel in afternoon trading in New York.
The Labor Department said 146,000 jobs were created in November, more than economists anticipated. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in October, but that was largely because more people stopped looking for work and weren't counted as unemployed. And job gains for September and October were revised lower.
Meanwhile, in another bad sign for energy demand in Europe, Germany's central bank lowered its expectation for economic growth next year.
At the pump, the average price for gasoline fell nearly a penny to $3.37 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. That's nearly 9 cents more than a year ago.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange:
Heating oil fell 3 cents to $2.92 per gallon.
Wholesale gasoline was unchanged at $2.60 per gallon.
Natural gas fell 7 cents to $3.59 per 1,000 cubic feet.
On the ICE Futures exchange in London:
Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 13 cents to $106.90 per barrel.
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