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Oil price holds near $94

January 17, 2014

The price of oil rose slightly Friday and finished the week 2 percent higher on signs of rising demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Benchmark crude for February delivery rose 41 cents to close at $94.37 in New York. Oil is up 2 percent since closing last Friday at $92.72. Brent crude for March delivery was up 73 cents to $106.48 in London.

U.S. oil began the year near $100 a barrel but retreated swiftly on indications of ample global supplies. It regained some of that ground this week on signals that the U.S. economy is churning again, and burning more diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline.

On Thursday, the U.S. Energy Department said oil supplies fell by 7.7 million barrels last week, the seventh straight weekly decline. OPEC said in a report that it expects global oil demand to rise by around 1 million barrels a day, up from an increase of 900,000 barrels a day in 2013.

The average retail price for a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. fell less than a penny to $3.30 a gallon, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express. That’s a penny less than a week ago and a penny more than a year ago.

In other energy futures trading in New York, natural gas fell 5.6 cents to close at $4.326 per 1,000 cubic feet (28.32 cubic meters).

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