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Oil Prices Rise After 3 Days of Declines

A general view of the oil refinery in Grandpuits
Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) – The price of oil is rising after three straight days of declines as weekly unemployment claims in the United States fell to their lowest level in two months.

Benchmark oil gained $1.08 to $91.07 just after 10 a.m. Eastern time.

The Labor Department said the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plunged 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the lowest level in nine weeks. Weekly unemployment applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. Any sign of an improving economy can drive energy prices up.

The market gains started earlier in Asia, helped by expectations the People’s Bank of China will soon take more steps to stimulate the world’s No. 2 economy.

Oil has dropped $9 per barrel in the last two weeks following the announcement of new economic stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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