Oil falls 2 pct on weak US jobs report

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    NEW YORK (AP) ? Oil is down 2 percent after the government indicated hiring is at a standstill in the United States.

    The Labor Department said Friday that employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent in June.

    A slowdown in hiring means that gasoline demand could remain stagnant as fewer new workers join the daily commute.

    Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery gave up $1.73 to $96.93 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude lost 44 cents to $118.17 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

    Meanwhile, retail gasoline prices increased for the third day in a row, reaching $3.594 per gallon.