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Oil near $106 after US denial of crude release
Oil edges higher near $106 after US denies plan to release crude supplies
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Oil markets were calmer Friday, a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 79 cents to $105.90 a barrel at midday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for May delivery rose $1.74 to $124.34 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil briefly dropped near $104 per barrel Thursday on those reports before recouping most of the losses when the White House said there was no plan to provide more crude to markets.

In other energy trading, heating oil rose 3 cents at $3.26 per gallon and gasoline futures gained 4 cents at $3.33 per gallon. Natural gas rose 4 cents to $2.32 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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