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Oil rises to near $83 ahead of US jobs report
Oil rises to near $83 a barrel in Asia ahead of monthly US jobs report
By The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) ' Oil rose to near $83 a barrel Friday in Asia, extending gains even as a jump in weekly U.S. jobless claims stoked fears of another dour monthly employment report.

Benchmark crude was up 20 cents at $82.79 a barrel at early afternoon Kuala Lumpur time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $2.91, or 3.7 percent, to finish at $82.59 per barrel in New York on Thursday.

Brent crude was up 27 cents at $106 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Oil plummeted to 12-month lows earlier in the week but rebounded as European officials appeared to be ready to take more concerted action to contain the region's debt crisis.

Oil continued to rise Friday as a weaker dollar and gains in stock markets offset a weekly jobless claims report in the U.S. that showed unemployment benefit applications rising 6,000 to 401,000.

That figure suggests the closely-watched report on U.S. hiring due later Friday will show employers are still reluctant to add new employees. High unemployment in the U.S. has depressed consumer spending and demand for fuel.

In other energy trading, heating oil rose 0.2 cent to $2.864 per gallon while gasoline futures fell 0.3 cent to $2.683 per gallon. Natural gas shed 1.2 cents to $3.586 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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