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Oil rose as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell and U.S. inventories dropped for the first time in four weeks.
Oil advanced as much as 1.5 percent as the Labor Department reported jobless claims plunged by 50,000 to 352,000 in the week ended Jan. 14, the lowest level since April 2008. Oil supplies fell 3.44 million barrels to 331.2 million last week, the Energy Department said. Gasoline stockpiles climbed to a 10-month high.
Crude for February delivery gained to $102.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent oil for March settlement advanced 35 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $111.01 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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