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Oil climbed a second day as the U.S. increased pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program and improving American economic data bolstered optimism that fuel demand will grow.
Futures in New York rose as much as 0.8 percent as U.S. officials escalated warnings that the nation may join Israel in attacking Iran. The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to a level matching a four-year low. The Federal Reserve said yesterday that the housing market has shown improvement.
Crude oil for April delivery rose to $108.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have advanced 8 percent in the past year.
Brent oil for April settlement climbed $1.93, or 1.6 percent, to $124.59 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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