Oil Edges Higher Following Losses; Gold Rises

NEW YORK (AP) -

Crude oil is posting its first increase this week, after China reported an increase in manufacturing.

Gold for December delivery rose $16.30 to $1,350.30 an ounce. Silver, platinum and palladium also rose, but copper fell.

Benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery gained 25 cents to close at $97.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil is still down $3.70 a barrel, or 3.7 percent.

One factor weighing on the price was Wednesday’s report from the Energy Information Administration that said U.S. oil inventories rose by 5.2 million barrels last week, a possible symptom of subdued demand and overproduction. The rise in stockpiles followed a 4 million barrel increase in the previous week.

Oil did get a lift Thursday from a survey that showed China’s manufacturing rose to a seven-month high in October, suggesting continued momentum for the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The preliminary version of HSBC’s purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.9 from September’s 50.2, on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of gasoline fell to $3.33, down 13 cents from a month ago and 30 cents cheaper than at this time last year.

Brent crude fell 81 cents to $106.99 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline added 4 cents to $2.59 a gallon.
  • Natural gas rose 1 cent to $3.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.
  • Heating oil shed 2 cents to $2.90 a gallon.

In agricultural futures, December corn fell 2.5 cents to $4.4025 a bushel. November soybeans fell a quarter of a cent to $13.0975 a bushel, and December wheat fell 5.25 cents to $6.965 a bushel.