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Oil maintained gains after the U.S. Energy Department said stockpiles of crude and distillates declined. Distillate supplies, which include heating oil and diesel, fell 2.87 million barrels to 143.7 million. Stockpiles were forecast to fall 1.1 million barrels. Inventories of crude oil declined 171,000 barrels to 339.1 million, the department said. Supplies were forecast to grow 1.5 million barrels.
Futures also rose after a report that Iran had cut oil shipments to six European countries and as China pledged to help resolve Europe’s debt crisis.
Oil for March delivery rose to $102.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent oil for April settlement gained $1.23 to $118.58 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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