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Oil hits 5-week high on Cyprus financial bailout

Benchmark crude for May delivery rose $1.10 to finish at $94.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Associated Press

3/25/2013

NEW YORK  — The price of oil rose to a five-week high after Europe patched up the latest problem in its yearslong financial crisis.

Benchmark crude for May delivery rose $1.10 to finish at $94.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the highest New York closing since Feb. 20.

Cyprus secured 10 billion euros ($13 billion) of rescue loans early Monday, just hours before a deadline set by the European Central Bank. The bank had threatened to halt emergency assistance to the country's banks if no agreement was reached by Tuesday. A financial collapse in Cyprus would have threatened the euro currency bloc.

In the U.S., gas prices are now at the lowest level since the middle of February. The average price for a gallon of gas is now $3.67, down 22 cents from this time last year.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, rose 51 cents to $108.17 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was flat at $3.06 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.88 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 6 cents to $3.87 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.