The price of oil is climbing on reports that U.S. factories have cranked into a higher gear. Benchmark U.S. crude increased Monday by $1.07 to $104.09 per barrel in New York while Brent crude rose by 68 cents to $123.56 per barrel in London.
Oil prices rose slightly to near $106 a barrel Friday in Asia after the U.S. denied reports it and Britain plan to release some their strategic crude reserves. Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 40 cents to $105.51 at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 32 cents to settle at $105.11 per barrel in New York on Thursday. Brent crude for May delivery was up 55 cents at $123.15 per barrel in London.