Oil slides as dollar jumps; down more than 4 percent on the week

Fri Nov 6, 2015 4:33pm EST
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell as much as 2 percent on Friday, posting their third weekly decline in four, on pressure from a rallying dollar and higher interest rate expectations after strong U.S. jobs growth in October.

For the week, crude futures were down more than 4 percent, sliding since Wednesday after a sixth weekly build in crude stockpiles.

The dollar hit 6-1/2-month highs against a basket of currencies after data showed the U.S. jobs market grew in October by its most in a month since December 2014. [USD/]

The spike in employment bolsters the chance for a U.S. rate hike in December that could add to the dollar's strength, making commodities denominated in the greenback less affordable to holders of other currencies.

"The jobs number may be strength for the U.S. economy but it's being interpreted as weakness for oil," said Pete Donovan, broker at Liquidity Energy.

Brent, the global benchmark for oil, settled down 56 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $47.42 a barrel. It fell 4.2 percent on the week.

U.S. crude finished down 91 cents, or 2 percent, at $44.29. It tumbled 5 percent on the week.

The discount in December spot U.S. crude to January was at its widest since mid-May for a second day in a row, reaching over $1 a barrel.   Continued...

A pump jack is seen at sunrise near Bakersfield, California October 14, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson