Oil closes higher after US manufacturing report

NEW YORK -- The price of oil finished higher Monday after a report showed U.S. manufacturing activity rose in September for the first time in four months.

That overshadowed a report that said U.S. construction spending fell for second straight month in August and a survey indicated manufacturing in China continues to slow.

Benchmark crude closed up 29 cents at $92.48 in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 20 cents to $112.19 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Prices at the pump slipped to $3.782 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service. But they're still 35 cents higher than they were a year ago. Low supplies of gasoline, particularly in the Northeast, are keeping prices elevated.

Average gasoline prices this year are on track to be the highest ever, AAA said Monday, topping last year's record of $3.51 per gallon.

In other energy futures trading:

_ The price of natural hit another year high, closing up 16 cents at $3.48 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Heating oil lost 2 cents to $3.14 per gallon.

_ Wholesale gasoline closed unchanged at $2.92 per gallon.