On Friday, oil prices increased slightly in Asia, reaching a value of almost $107 per barrel before the revelation of key United States employment report by the largest economy of the world. The report is being waited for by investors as it will provide a new insight about the largest economy, about how things are shaping up, which will then affect crude demand.
For April delivery, benchmark oil increased by 32 cents, to settle at a value of $106.90 in electronic trading, at midday Singapore time, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The same contract increased by 42 cents a day before, to settle at a value of $106.58 a barrel in New York. On the other hand, in London, Brent crude increased by 5 cents, to settle at a value of $125.49 a barrel.
Moreover, in other energy trading, heating oil increased by 0.3 cents, to settle at a value of $3.27 per gallon, while natural gas increased by 3.3 cents, to settle at a value of $2.31 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gasoline futures however dropped by 0.6 cents, to settle at a value of $3.31 per gallon.
The biggest factor driving crude prices is the United States jobs report, which if reveals positive momentum in the economy will drive oil prices up on Monday, when the new week begins and if it reports a negative momentum, oil prices will start next week on a lower value. Oil prices have increased from $75 per barrel from October last year and $96 per barrel last month as the largest economy of the world reports to be gaining momentum and improving, while on the other hand, they have also been supported by signs of stabilization in the European zone and the sovereign debt crisis.