The price of oil edged higher Monday as tension increased between Syria and Israel.
The benchmark oil contract for June delivery rose 55 cents to close at $96.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the third straight day of gains for oil, and the first close above $96 since April 2.
Prices rose early Monday on news of an Israeli military strike in Syria, raising concern of an expansion in conflict in the oil-rich Middle East. The price fell back below $95 before rising again late in the day.
At the pump, the average price for a gallon of gas remained at $3.52. That's down 9 cents from a month ago and 26 cents cheaper than at this time last year.
Brent crude, which is the benchmark for international oil varieties and more susceptible to news from the Middle East, gained $1.27 to $105.46 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline rose 4 cents to $2.87 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 4 cents to $2.92 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 3 cents to $4.01 per 1,000 cubic feet.