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Oil falls toward $93 ahead of US monthly jobs data

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of crude oil fell slightly Friday, a day after posting its biggest jump since late last year, as traders awaited the release of a closely watched U.S. employment report.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 14 cents to $93.85 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices rose more than 3 percent Thursday as the European Central Bank cut its key interest rate to a new low and U.S. unemployment benefit claims dropped. The contract rose $2.96, or 3.3 percent, to finish at $93.99 a barrel, the biggest one-day gain for crude since November.

Later Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will release its monthly employment report for April, which could show whether weak hiring in March was a temporary lull or a more significant trend.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices of oil from the North Sea used by many U.S. refiners, fell 15 cents to $102.62 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.8 cent to $2.772 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 0.4 cent to $2.851 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 3.8 cents to $3.987 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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