Crude Oil Edged Lower Before Jobs Report


08/02/2014 08:44 AST

Crude oil futures turned slightly lower Friday morning, giving back some weekly gains ahead of today's closely watched U.S. jobs report.

U.S. crude for March was down 22 cents at $97.22 a barrel. The March contract briefly touched $99 before pulling back yesterday.

Natural gas edged down 3 percent despite forecasts calling for more snow and cold weather across the northern U.S.

The U.S. Labor Department is scheduled to release its non-farm payrolls report for January at 8:30 am ET. Economists estimate the economy to have added 181,000 jobs in the month, while the jobless rate is estimated to have remained unchanged at 6.7 percent.

A strong jobs report may mean more tightening from the Federal Reserve, which has scaled back the size of its bond-buying plan two months in a row.

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