NEW YORK 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 4 1/2-year low of 7.4 percent, that was one of few hopeful signs in an otherwise lackluster report.
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.