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Oil tops $103 on hopes US will avoid debt default

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm •  Published: October 10, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices jumped above $103 a barrel on Thursday on hopes that U.S. political leaders are near a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, natural gas rose to a three-week high on the prospects of cooler temperatures in the Midwest. And the average price for gasoline in the U.S. remained at $3.35 a gallon.

Benchmark oil for November delivery rose $1.40, or 1.4 percent, to close at $103.01 a barrel, reversing much of Wednesday's decline of $1.88 a barrel.

Facing a fresh deadline, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that Republicans would vote to extend the government's ability to borrow money for six weeks — but only if President Barack Obama first agrees to fresh negotiations on spending cuts. Under the Republican plan, the partial government shutdown would continue in the meantime.

Meanwhile, developments in Libya reminded markets of the risk to supplies from key crude producers in the region. Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan was abducted by gunmen from the hotel where he resides, but freed hours later. The event gave an extra boost to Brent, the benchmark for international crudes. Brent rose $2.45, or 2.3 percent, to $110.72 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

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