Oil at US$96
The price of oil rose Thursday on positive economic news from the United States and China.
Benchmark oil gained 72 cents to US$95.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
There are signs that oil demand is picking up in China. HSBC's monthly purchasing managers' index, which gauges manufacturing activity in China, rose for the fifth consecutive month in January to 51.9 from December's 51.5. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
In the US, the number of Americans applying for unemploy-ment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in five years, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring.
On Wednesday, oil dropped by US$1.45 per barrel after crude shipments through the Seaway pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries on the Gulf Coast had to be cut to less than half because of limited capacity.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 53 cents to US$113.33 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
Wholesale gasolene was at US$2.876 per gallon.
Natural gas at US$3.45 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Heating oil at $3.09 a gallon.