Tensions in the Middle East over a potential retaliation strike on Syria forced crude oil futures higher on Friday, according to a published report.
The Wall Street Journal reports that despite a weaker than anticipated U.S. jobs report for the month of August, traders purchased contracts in order to protect against a potential price jump as rhetoric over the possible Syria strike continues in the U.S. and around the world.
Carl Larry, an analyst at Oil Outlooks and Opinions, told the news provider that at this point, it continues to be a waiting game.
"All eyes are back on the Middle East and it's another weekend of 'wait and see,'" Larry explained.
According to MarketWatch, the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted that stockpiled supplies of crude oil fell by approximately 1.8 million barrels in the week that ended August 30. Platts analysts had reportedly projected a drop of about 2.5 million barrels, the news source said.
The Labor Department reported that nonfarm U.S. payrolls climbed by 169,000 last month, while the unemployment rate decreased slightly from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent. Matt Smith, an analyst with Schneider Electric, told the Journal that the less-than-stellar numbers likely won't encourage the Federal Reserve to lessen its economic stimulus in September, which should also help oil prices.
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