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Oil marks time near $101 as supply figures awaited

U.S. benchmark crude for November delivery was up 19 cents at $100.86 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Associated Press

10/18/2013

BANGKOK — Oil marked time near $101 a barrel Friday as traders awaited the release of official figures on U.S. stockpiles.

U.S. benchmark crude for November delivery was up 19 cents at $100.86 a barrel at midafternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract dropped $1.62 to $100.67 on Thursday as investors assessed the economic impact of the 16-day government shutdown that ended after an eleventh hour budget deal late the day before.

With the regular supply report from the Energy Department postponed this week by the shutdown, traders took cues from the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute instead. The API said that U.S. stocks of crude oil rose by 5.9 million barrels last week, about twice the build expected by analysts and suggesting demand might have been reduced by the shutdown.

The Energy Information Administration figures, which are considered more reliable, will be released on Monday.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 15 cents at $109.26 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.5 cent to $2.639 a gallon.

— Natural gas dropped 2.2 cents to $3.735 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil added 0.7 cent to $2.995 a gallon.

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