Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude 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 per cent, 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 international varieties of oil, rose 33 cents to US$109.69 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline rose less than a penny to US$3.12 a gallon (3.79 litres).
— Heating oil rose 4 cents to US$3.04 a gallon (3.79 litres).
— Natural gas advanced by 8 cents to $4.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.Suggest a correction