NEW YORK: Oil prices hit a fresh two-year intraday high after the U.S. government said the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in February.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery gained $1.07 to $102.98 per barrel in New York. The price hit $103.57 per barrel earlier in electronic trading, the highest since 29 September , 2008.
The Labour Department said the economy added 192,000 jobs last month. More jobs means more cars in the morning commute at a time when world oil supplies are under pressure because of the crisis in Libya.
In Libya , tensions escalated further on Friday as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi used tear gas to repel protestors marching on Tripoli. Most of Libya's oil production has been shut down because of the crisis.