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Oil rose as the dollar weakened after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said that the jobs market is far from healthy. The dollar fell to the lowest level against the euro since Dec. 12 after Bernanke said the U.S. has a long way to go before the jobs market operates “normally,” in testimony prepared for the Senate Budget Committee.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained at a faster pace than North Sea Brent in London, reducing the European benchmark’s premium over New York oil for the first time in nine days. The dollar fell on Bernanke’s comments and signs that Greece is near a debt agreement.
Oil fell as much as 1.1 percent earlier as U.S. crude inventories climbed to the highest level in more than four months in a survey before an Energy Department report tomorrow.
Oil for March delivery rose to $99.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to $95.84. Prices have slipped 23 cents this year.
Brent oil for March settlement gained 73 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $116.66 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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