Crude futures settle near 83 dollars on U.S. demand

08:32, March 18, 2010      

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Crude prices closed near 83 U.S. dollars a barrel in New York on Wednesday as energy demand in the United States rebounded.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday that oil product demand in the United States was up 3.5 percent last week from a year ago.

The report also said crude inventories rose last week by 1.1 million barrels to 344 million barrels. Analysts expected a build of 1.9 million barrels. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks fell 1.7 million barrels while heating oil inventories 1.4 million barrels.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting Wednesday in Vienna decided to leave output targets unchanged.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery rose 1.23 dollars to settle at 82.93 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude rose 1.43 dollars to settle at 81.96 dollars on the ICE futures exchange.

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