Oil prices drop before US jobs data

October 8, 2010

, LONDON, Oct 8 – Oil prices slid on Friday as investors awaited a widely watched US jobs data report and looked ahead to next week\’s output meeting of the OPEC oil cartel, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November shed 1.27 dollars to 82.16 dollars a barrel ahead of the US employment figures due at 1230 GMT.

New York\’s main contract, light sweet crude for November delivery lost 1.03 dollars to 80.64 dollars a barrel.

Analysts said the US Labor Department\’s non-farm payrolls report for September employment could be pivotal in the Fed\’s decision to step in with new measures to bolster the United States, the world\’s biggest oil consumer.

The oil market was also looking ahead to an output meeting of OPEC next Thursday in Vienna. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps 40 percent of the world\’s crude oil, will decide whether to alter output.

Analysts expect no change as the cartel\’s 12 members appear satisfied with current prices.

"OPEC members will always have one eye on the rear view mirror," said Rebecca Seabury, an analyst at British energy consultancy Inenco.

"We saw oil prices down to mid-to-low 30 dollars per barrel in the depths of the recession. Therefore a two-fold increase in the price of oil since then must give them some comfort.

"They will want to avoid a rapid increase in oil prices whilst the recovery is fragile as it might well tip the world’s economies back into recession," she told AFP.

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