Crude Oil Closes Above $100 a Barrel; Gold Flat

NEW YORK (AP) -

The price of crude oil edged above $100 a barrel Friday, and gold futures inched higher. Agricultural futures also rose.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 77 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $100.32 a barrel in New York.

Oil has gained 8 percent this month, as optimism builds about the U.S. economic recovery and the prospect of greater demand for energy. Violence in South Sudan has also stoked concerns about the African nation’s oil production.

Oil last closed above $100 a barrel on Oct. 18.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline was down 0.4 cents to $2.82 a gallon, heating oil rose 3 cents to $3.12 per gallon and natural gas lost 3 cents to $4.41 per 1,000 cubic feet.

The last time oil traded above $100 a barrel was Oct. 21. The last day it closed above $100 a barrel was Oct. 18. During the abridged trading week, oil gained $1.

A report from the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration released Friday showed that U.S. crude stockpiles fell 4.7 million barrels last week to 367.6 million barrels. The supply fell in the last week from 23.4 days’ worth of oil to 22.8 days’ worth.

Gold for February delivery edged up $1.70, or 0.1 percent, to $1,214 an ounce. Silver rose 13.3 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $20.049 an ounce.

In other metals trading, March copper fell 1.35 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.385 a pound. March palladium rose $11.20, or 1.6 percent, to $711.95 an ounce, and April platinum rose $15.10, or 1.1 percent, to $1,378.90 an ounce.

Crop prices rose. Corn for March delivery added 1.25 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $4.275 a bushel, March soybeans rose 8.5 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $13.1375 a bushel and March wheat rose 3 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $6.09 a bushel.