Investing.com - Oil prices slid in afternoon trading on Friday after the U.S. government unveiled February jobs data that far exceeded expectations and fueled strong demand for the greenback, which made oil and other commodities more expensive in dollar denominated exchanges.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in April traded at USD91.19 a barrel on Friday, down 0.40% and off from a session high of USD91.72 and up from an earlier session low of USD90.86.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier that economy added 236,000 nonfarm payrolls in February, way more than an expected 160,000 increase and up above 119,000 reported in January.
The U.S. private sector added 246,000 jobs, beating expectations for a 167,000 increase, following January's 140,000 rise.
The headline unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in February from 7.9% in January, beating analysts' calls for the rate to remain unchanged.
The data came after the Department of Labor said on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits fell by 7,000 to 340,000 last week, defying expectations for an increase of 8,000 to 355,000.
The numbers sparked heavy demand for dollars on sentiment the Federal Reserve will wind down stimulus programs designed to create job demand by flooding the economy with liquidity in a way that encourages investing.
Stimulus tools, including the Fed's monthly USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program known as quantitative easing, weaken the dollar as side effects, and Friday's jobs report stoked sentiments that such programs may wrap up sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile a North Sea pipeline reopened and eased supply fears, which allowed Brent prices too cool somewhat.
Elsewhere on the ICE Futures Exchange, Brent oil futures for April delivery were down 1.08% at USD109.95 a barrel, up USD18.76 from its U.S. counterpart.