Oil, Copper Rise on Positive News on US Job Market

NEW YORK (AP) -

Crude oil and copper prices are rising on the latest positive signs about the U.S. job market.

Both commodities are sensitive to changes in the economic cycle, and demand for them tends to increase when the economy is expanding.

Crude oil for January delivery gained $1.59 to close at $95.44 a barrel, the highest closing price this month.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 40 cents to $110.23 a barrel in London.

Meanwhile, gas pump prices in the U.S. moved higher, as Americans began traveling for Thanksgiving. The national average is $3.43 a gallon.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

  • Heating oil gained 2 cents to $3.06 a gallon.
  • Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $2.73 a gallon.
  • Natural gas gained 6 cents to $4.01 per 1,000 cubic feet.

December copper rose 3.2 cents to $3.1915 a pound.

The government reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest since September.

In other metals trading, gold fell $14.40 to $1,243.60 an ounce, and silver fell 12.4 cents to $19.934 an ounce.

In agricultural commodities trading, December corn rose 6 cents to $4.23 a bushel, December wheat rose 1.5 cents to $6.4875 a bushel and January soybeans rose 17.75 cents to $12.915 a bushel.