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Oil prices edge up after positive US job report
 
NEW YORK, March 10 (BSS/AFP) - Global oil prices rose modestly yesterday as traders welcomed upbeat news on the US jobs front but kept a cautious eye on signs of softer global demand.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for delivery in April, closed at $107.40 a barrel, a gain of 82 cents from Thursday.

Brent North Sea crude for April rose 54 cents to settle at $125.98 in London trade.

After opening lower, the New York market picked up following the Labor Department's solid job report for February, suggesting firm growth in the world's largest economy and biggest oil consumer.

The US economy added a net 227,000 jobs in February, well above expectations, and the unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent, a three-year low.

But a separate report showing a growing US trade deficit sent the opposite message that rising imports, particularly on the back of high oil prices, would weigh on the recovery from recession.

"The market got excited with the (job) numbers... but the trade deficit numbers were one of the concerns," said Phil Flynn at PFG Best.

"We realize that the spike in oil prices really did have an impact. There are concerns that demand could soften," he added.

Greece's completion of its private-debt swap late Thursday, the world's largest debt restructuring in history, averted a near-term default but left many questions overhanging the market.

Brent "has closed the week in consolidation mode as I think the markets are aware that there's still a long way to go in terms of the eurozone crisis," said Sucden brokers analyst Jack Pollard.
 
 
 
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