NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Crude prices rose on Friday as U.S. unemployment rate declined sharply to 8.6 percent in November.
The Labor Department said on Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a 2-1/2-year low of 8.6 percent in November, adding more signs to that U.S. economic recovery was gaining momentum. The report showed that nonfarm payrolls increased 120,000 last month, meeting analysts' estimates.
Besides, concerns over disruption of Iran's oil supply remained in focus. Although European foreign ministers fell short of immediate sanctions on Iran nuclear program, tension still tended to get intensified. U.S. officials declared that Saudi Arabia was willing to increase output to meet the supply gap, but investors remained worried about oil production.
But the sovereign debt problems kept weighing on oil markets and limited the gains. Economic recession risks were mounting, posing great threat to world economic growth. The whole world was awaiting the European summit due on Dec. 9.
Light, sweet crude for January delivery gained 76 cents, or 0. 76 percent to settle at 100.96 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for January delivery also rose and last traded around 110 dollars a barrel.