US cold, Chinese growth help lift oil above $102

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm •  Published: February 18, 2014
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The price of oil closed above $102 a barrel Tuesday on expectations that cold weather in the U.S. and steady Chinese growth will underpin demand.

Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery closed up $2.13 to $102.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

At the gas pump, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $3.37. That's up 6 cents from a week ago, and down 36 cents from this time last year.

Severe cold weather has been boosting energy prices, with a prolonged wave of snow and cold temperatures hitting the East Coast most of the winter.

"Another snowstorm in the U.S. is likely to keep heating demand at a high level and spark a further decline in the already severely diminished stocks of heating oil and natural gas," said analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt in a note to clients.

Optimism that China's economy is still healthy after credit growth increased in January also helped lift energy prices.

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