NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil is higher Friday after a positive report on U.S. hiring and amid ongoing concerns that the crisis in Egypt might affect Mideast supplies.
In morning trading, benchmark crude for August delivery was up 37 cents to $101.61 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, oil closed above at $101.24, the highest level since May 3, 2012. U.S. markets were closed Thursday for Independence Day.
Following the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, his supporters began a series of protests and attacks Friday. The military opened fire as hundreds of protesters marched on a headquarters of the Republican Guard
Egypt is not an oil-producer but its control of the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, gives it a crucial role in maintaining global energy supplies.
For now, supplies are moving freely through the canal.
In the U.S., employers added a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The job growth suggests a stronger economy and makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will slow its bond purchases before year's end.
Those bond purchases have supported the economy by helping keep long-term interest rates low. That in turn has given a boost to investments such as stocks and oil.
At the pump, the national average for a gallon of gas stayed at $3.48 for the third straight day. That's down 14 cents from a month ago.
Brent crude, which is used to set prices for crude oils used by many U.S. refineries, was up 73 cents to $106.27 on the ICE exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was up 1 cent at $2.84 per gallon.
— Natural gas fell 8 cents to $3.61 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil added 2 cents to $2.97 a gallon.
Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.
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