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Oil fell for the first time in four days on speculation that the shutdown of refineries on the U.S. East Coast because of Hurricane Sandy will add to already ample stockpiles.
Futures headed for a third weekly drop as Phillips 66 and Hess Corp. (HES)’s New Jersey refineries remain shut four days after the storm struck. Crude inventories exceed 370 million barrels, the most for October in at least 10 years.
Oil also fell as U.S. stocks erased gains and the euro slipped to a three-week low against the dollar after a report showing that hiring in the U.S. rose more than forecast in October.
The euro dropped as much as 0.8 percent to $1.2837 after the Labor Department figures showed an improving U.S. employment picture. A stronger dollar and weaker euro reduce oil’s appeal as an investment alternative.
In the last jobs report before next week’s election, a net 171,000 workers were added to payrolls after a 148,000 gain in September that was more than first estimated. An advance of 125,000 was expected. The jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent as more people entered the labor force, the figures showed.
Crude oil for December delivery fell to $85.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 0.6 percent this week and 13 percent this year.
Brent oil for December settlement slid 37 cents to $107.80 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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