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Oil rose to the highest level in more than three months after a government report showed U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly declined, spurring optimism that a recovering economy will boost fuel demand.
Oil advanced as much as 2.3 percent after the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to a seven-month low of 390,000 in the week ended Nov. 5. Prices also increased as Italian bond yields retreated from records, tempering concern that Europe’s debt crisis would spiral out of control.
Crude for December delivery climbed to $97.90, the highest intraday level since Aug. 1, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have risen 6 percent this year.
Brent oil for December settlement gained 41 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $112.72 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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