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Oil advanced to a three-week high in New York as sales at U.S. retailers climbed, signaling economic growth and more fuel demand.
Futures gained for a second day after the government reported that U.S. retail sales increased 0.4 percent in January. Oil also rose after the ZEW Center for European Economic Research in Mannheim said its index of investor and analyst expectations rose to 5.4 in February from minus 21.6 in the previous month.
Oil for March delivery gained 68 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $101.59 a barrel at 10:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price reached $101.84, the highest since Jan. 19. Prices are 2.8 percent higher this year.
Brent oil for March settlement rose 6 cents to $117.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. The March contract expires today. Brent for April fell 5 cents to $117.34.
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