Oil price rises ahead of U.S. data

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BANGKOK The price of oil rose slightly today, a sign of investor confidence in the U.S. economy's recovery ahead of the release of data this week on jobs, home sales and the country's overall growth.

Benchmark oil for March delivery was up 8 cents to $95.96 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 7 cents to close at $95.88 on the Nymex on Friday after a report showed a cooling off in new U.S. home sales.

The U.S. government will release monthly durable goods figures later today, and the National Association of Realtors will report on pending home sales for December. Later in the week, reports on weekly jobless claims and employment data for January are due.

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