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Oil rises above $97, natural gas falls back

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil rose above $97 a barrel Thursday for the first time in five weeks, boosted by gains in U.S. stock markets and more signs of a strengthening economy.

Benchmark oil for May delivery gained 65 cents to close at $97.23 a barrel in New York. Oil has gained nearly $5 per barrel in the past week, driven by encouraging economic indicators.

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