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Oil Up Slightly After Mixed US Economic Reports

By the Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The price of oil rose Monday after a strong durable goods report in the U.S.

Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose sharply in December with gains in volatile aircraft orders, the Commerce Department said. But the number of pending home sales fell last month after hitting a 2 ½ year high in November.

Benchmark oil rose 56 cents to finish at $96.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It's a big week for U.S. economic indicators. In addition to Monday's data, the government will release reports on weekly jobless claims, unemployment and fourth-quarter growth. And the Federal Reserve's policy committee holds a two-day meeting that concludes on Wednesday.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gas rose over the weekend to $3.35, the highest level since the second week of December.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 20 cents to end at $113.48 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

â¿¿ Wholesale gasoline rose 6 cents to finish at $2.94 per gallon.

â¿¿ Natural gas fell 16 cents to end at $3.29 per 1,000 cubic feet.

â¿¿ Heating oil rose about half a cent to finish at $3.06 a gallon.

___

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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