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Oil fluctuated near an eight-month high on reports that the European Union will ban imports of Iranian oil and concern that the region’s debt crisis will affect consumption.
Crude advanced as much as 0.8 percent after Reuters reported that the EU governments have reached a deal in principle to ban the imports, citing diplomats. No starting date was determined. Prices declined earlier on European reports showing services and manufacturing output declined.
Crude for February delivery touched $103.74, the highest intraday level since May 11. Prices climbed 8.2 percent in 2011, their third straight annual gain.
Brent oil for February settlement rose 68 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $112.81 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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