Oil prices rose Thursday ahead of talks between the U.S. and Russia on Syria issues. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva, Switzerland, for discussions on a plan to let Syria surrender its chemical weapons. U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday night that the United States will make joint efforts with Russia and other partners to work on a UN resolution making Syrian President Bashar al-Assad\'s government give up chemical weapons. He also asked Congress to postpone a vote on the military strike against Syria, and let more time for diplomacy to work. However, there was more skepticism in the market about whether the Syria could agree with the U.S. on a plan to turn over its weapons. On the U.S. economic front, the number of Americans who initially applied for unemployment benefits declined sharply last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. In the week ending Sept. 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased 31,000 to 292,000, the lowest level since 2006. Among other data, prices for U.S. imports stood flat in August after ticking up 0.1 percent in July. U.S. export prices fell 0.5 percent in August following a 0.1 percent decrease the previous month. Light, sweet crude for October delivery moved up 1.04 dollars to settle at 108.6 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for October delivery climbed 1.13 dollars to close at 112.63 dollars a barrel.