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Oil fluctuated as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said progress in reducing unemployment is likely to be “frustratingly slow” and as U.S. inventories may have fallen for a fourth week.
Prices were little changed after Bernanke said in testimony to the Senate Banking Committee that economic growth slowed during the first half of this year. The Fed is prepared to take further action as appropriate, he said. Oil stockpiles probably declined 1.1 million barrels, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Crude for August delivery rose to $89.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising to $89.28 and falling to $87.41. Prices have declined 10 percent this year.
Brent oil for September settlement advanced 59 cents to $103.96 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
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