rising in price
NEW YORK — Oil closed at a four-month high Tuesday as global economic reports point to improvement.
Benchmark oil rose 68 cents to $96.24 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil has risen nearly $3 a barrel over the last four trading sessions.
A U.S. government report showed last year was the best year for U.S. home sales since 2007 and more improvement is expected this year. Meanwhile, German investor confidence saw a large jump in a new survey. The Bank of Japan's announcement of more bond purchases next year also buoyed oil prices.
But it's unclear if oil can rise much higher in the near term. Oil and gasoline supplies are ample and some uncertainty remains about the outcome of U.S. debt limit negotiations in Washington.
At the pump, gasoline rose to a national average of $3.31 a gallon. That's still about 7 cents less than a year ago. Brent crude, used to price international oil varieties, was up 71 cents to $112.42 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.