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Crude oil rises above $85 a barrel on favorable economic reports and weaker dollar
NEW YORK (AP) ' Oil rose above $85 per barrel Tuesday on encouraging economic news from Asia and Europe.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.02 to finish at $85.44 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, which is used to price oil produced abroad, increased $1.08 to $109.44 per barrel in London.
Prices rose following reports of better-than-expected manufacturing activity in China and Europe. And stocks rose in the U.S. ahead of an expected announcement from the Federal Reserve on Friday to further stimulate the nation's economy.
The positive news was offset by reports of more unrest in Libya's capitol as the Gadhafi regime appeared near collapse.
An end to the country's six-month rebellion would clear the way for Libyan exports to resume, but analysts cautioned that it will likely take more than a year for oil to begin flowing at levels that would affect prices.
"Crude from Libya is going to be a story for 2012 or 2013. Not today," said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service.
Fighting during the last six months has all but stopped activity in Libya's oil fields. The country previously supplied about 1.5 million barrels per day for world markets. That's roughly 2 percent of daily global oil demand.
In other energy trading, heating oil rose 3.18 cents to end at $2.9425 per gallon and gasoline futures added 4.15 cents to finish at $2.8766 per gallon. Natural gas rose 10.4 cents to end the day at $3.993 per 1,000 cubic feet.