Oil Rises Above $95 a Barrel, Tracking Stocks

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil rose to $95 a barrel Tuesday, supported by gains on global stock markets.

Benchmark oil for July delivery rose 86 cents to close at $95.01 a barrel in New York. It was the first gain for oil in five trading sessions.

Positive signs for the U.S. economy helped. U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years and consumer confidence reached a five-year high. U.S. stock markets were showing strong gains by mid-afternoon. European and Asian markets closed higher earlier.

Oil's gain could be fleeting if recent concerns about demand resurface. China, which has seen a decline in manufacturing activity, releases data on factory production later this week. In the U.S., demand for gasoline has been weaker compared with last year. And bad weather in some regions over the Memorial Day weekend may have kept drivers closer to home, wrote Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The PRICE Futures Group, in a daily newsletter.

The average price for a gallon of gas fell over the long weekend, by 2 cents to $3.63. That's a penny less than at this time last year.

Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was up $1.61 to $104.23 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline rose 1 cent to $2.85 a gallon.
  • Heating oil climbed 5 cents to $2.91 per gallon.
  • Natural gas shed 6 cents to $4.17 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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