The price of oil edged up Wednesday on stronger manufacturing activity in the United States and China, the two biggest oil consumers.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was up 8 cents to $105.42 per barrel at 0800 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, breaking four days of declines. The contract closed at a 10-month high of $107.26 on June 20.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 13 cents to $112.16 per barrel in London.

Manufacturing activity in China, the world's biggest oil importer, grew in June, according to surveys by HSBC Corp. and a Chinese industry group.

In the United States, manufacturing grew for a 13th successive month, though at a slower pace than in May.

Oil prices have risen in recent weeks on concerns that violence in Iraq, OPEC's second-largest exporter, would cut supplies. They stabilized late last week as the stunning initial advance by insurgents lost momentum.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.2 cent to $3.0381 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 0.8 cent to $4.447 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil dropped 0.2 cents to $2.976 a gallon.



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