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 95 cents to close at $106.94 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil still finished the week up $2.24 a barrel, or 2 percent, due to a gain of $4.81 over Wednesday and Thursday.
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.
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 59 cents to finish at $108.95 per barrel. Brent gained $1.78 a barrel for the week.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
_ Heating oil fell 3 cents to end at $3.07 a gallon.
_ Natural gas fell 4 cents to finish at $3.35 per 1,000 cubic feet.
_ Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to end at $2.99 a gallon.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.