Oil Rises For 4th Day, Passes $99

Published December 22, 2011 3:18PM (EST)

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices rose above $99 a barrel Thursday amid signs of growing U.S. crude demand and concerns about global supply.

Benchmark crude rose 93 cents to $99.60 per barrel in New York. Brent crude rose 48 cents to $108.19 per barrel in London.

The latest data on the U.S. economy shows signs of improvement, which is sending stock prices and oil prices higher. Growing economies consume more oil. Jobless claims in the U.S. dropped last week to their lowest level since April 2008.

Also, increasing tensions between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear ambitions have led to fears that supply from the world's fourth biggest producer could be interrupted.

Average retail gasoline prices rose a penny on Thursday to $3.22 per gallon.

By Salon Staff

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