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Oil slightly higher after mixed economic reports; ends at $96.44

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

The Associated Press

1/28/2013

NEW YORK — 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 1/2 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.

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:

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

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

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

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