Posted: Jan 6, 2012 10:02 AM by CHRIS KAHN
NEW YORK (AP) - Oil prices are falling as concerns about Europe outweigh positive U.S. employment numbers.
Benchmark crude fell 51 cents to $101.30 per barrel in New York.
Brent crude lost 37 cents at $112.37 per barrel in London.
Oil prices rose earlier after the government reported the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent in December. A stronger economy means more demand for oil and gasoline.
Prices dropped as traders focused on European economic reports that showed weaker factory orders in Germany and soft retail sales elsewhere in November. The eurozone has struggled to overcome massive government debts, and many economists expect it will fall back into recession sometime this year.
Meanwhile, gasoline pump prices rose more than 3 cents to a national average of $3.35 a gallon.