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Oil near $96, extending month-long 27 pct rally
Oil rises to near $96 in Asia, extending 27 percent rally over last month
By The Associated Press

SINGAPORE (AP) ' Oil prices rose to near $96 a barrel Tuesday in Asia, extending a 27 percent rally during the last month amid signs the U.S. economy isn't slipping back into recession.

Benchmark crude for December delivery was up 41 cents at $95.93 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.26 to settle at $95.52 in New York on Monday.

Brent crude was up 20 cents at $114.76 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Crude has jumped from $75 on Oct. 4 amid growing investor optimism that Europe will be able to at least temporarily contain its sovereign debt crisis. Commodities have also rebounded on signs that the U.S. economy has avoided a recession this year.

Barclays Capital said in a report that lack of spare crude production capacity combined with still rising demand means that oil prices have the potential to rise strongly.

Yet some analysts expect global economic growth and crude demand to slow sharply next year, which would drag down oil prices. Capital Economics forecasts Brent to drop to $85 by the end of 2012 and to $75 by the end of 2013.

In other Nymex trading, heating oil rose 1.7 cents to $3.14 per gallon and gasoline futures added 1.6 cents to $2.74 per gallon. Natural gas slid 0.1 cent to $3.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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