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Oil recoups some lost ground after big drop


February 19. 2013 4:11PM
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(AP) The price of oil recouped some lost ground Thursday, a day after its biggest decline of the year.


Benchmark crude for December delivery was up 54 cents to $84.98 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $4.27, or 5 percent, to finish at $84.44 per barrel in New York. It was the lowest price since July 10.


Traders say the U.S. has ample oil stocks because of increased output and reduced demand in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The government reported another increase in supply last week, reminding traders that crude inventories are nearly 11 percent above year-ago levels while demand remains anemic.


However, data from American Petroleum Institute showed that weekly crude oil inventories fell 27,000 barrels to 371.7 million for the week ending Nov. 2. That might have tipped prices higher.


A day after President Barack Obama won re-election, concerns about global economic growth still dominate commodities markets.


In the U.S., investors worried that Washington may not be able to avoid the deep spending cuts and tax hikes set to automatically take place in January unless the politically divided Congress acts.


Meanwhile, the European Commission cut its forecasts for the region's economic growth through 2013. German industrial orders fell by more than expected in September, portending possible tough times ahead for Europe's largest economy.


Brent crude rose 50 cents to $107.32 per barrel in London.


In other energy futures trading in New York:


Wholesale gasoline rose 2.2 cents to $2.611 per gallon.


Heating oil rose 1.5 cents to $2.978 per gallon.


Natural gas dropped 3.2 cents to $3.546 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Associated Press


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