By The Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The price of oil rose near the end of trading Wednesday, and has now gone up more than $4 in less than a week. Benchmark oil for May delivery gained 24 cents to close at a five-week high of $96.68 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has gained $4.13, or 4.4 percent, in the last four sessions. The increase hasn't yet shown up at the gas pump. The average price for a gallon of gas fell a penny to $3.65 a gallon. It's down 5 cents over the past week, and is 25 cents lower than at this time last year. Oil's gains have been driven by strong U.S. economic data. On Thursday, the market gets the final reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product and the latest weekly reading on claims for unemployment benefits. Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, rose 33 cents to $109.69 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. In other energy futures trading on the Nymex: â¿¿ Wholesale gasoline rose less than a penny to $3.12 a gallon. â¿¿ Heating oil rose 4 cents to $3.04 a gallon. â¿¿ Natural gas advanced by 8 cents to $4.07 per 1,000 cubic feet. ___ Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.