By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - The price of oil fell Friday after two days of big gains, as investors took profits following a report that showed job growth slowed in the U.S. last month.
Benchmark crude for September delivery fell $1.11, or 1 percent, to $106.78 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $4.81 a barrel Wednesday and Thursday following more encouraging economic data.
U.S. employers added 162,000 jobs in July, the government said, a modest increase and the fewest since March. Although the unemployment rate dropped to a 4½-year low of 7.4 percent, that was one of few hopeful signs in an otherwise lackluster report.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gasoline held steady at $3.63. That's up 15 cents from a month ago, and 10 cents higher than at this time last year.
Brent crude, traded on the ICE Futures exchange in London, fell 99 cents to $108.55 per barrel.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
- Heating oil fell 3 cents to $3.07 a gallon.
- Natural gas was flat at $3.38 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to $2.99 a gallon.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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