New York: Oil prices rose on Friday for a third straight day and also posted weekly gains as data showing rising US employment countered pressure from a stronger dollar and fading euphoria from Greece's debt swap deal.
US non-farm payrolls exceeded expectations by rising 227,000 in February, the third straight month that gains topped 200,000. The unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 per cent.
"Today's US employment report for February was positive across the board and confirms that improvements in the US job market are real," Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics LLC in Austin, Texas, said.
Oil's price trajectory was choppy, buffeted by pressure from a stronger dollar, supportive news of Greece's bond swap deal to avoid a default, and Chinese data showing that inflation had cooled, giving policymakers room to ease monetary policy to fight slowing growth.
Brent crude rose 54 cents to settle at $125.98 (Dh462.74) a barrel, trading from $124.69 to $126.37. Brent posted a 1.88 per cent weekly gain, the sixth weekly rise in seven weeks.
US crude rose 82 cents to settle at $107.40 a barrel after tug-of-war trading from $106.13 to $108.20. For the week, US crude rose marginally, 0.66 per cent, after losing 2.8 per cent last week.
Brent's premium to US crude ended at $18.58 based on settlements, but dropped below $18 a barrel intraday. Trading volumes were lacklustre, with Brent turnover 20 per cent below its 30-day average.