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Oil Rises to $96, Reverses 2 Days of Losses

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil rose above $96 a barrel, reversing losses for the two previous days.

By midday in New York, benchmark oil for July delivery was up 48 cents to $95.86 a barrel. Oil lost a combined 65 cents a barrel Monday and Tuesday.

Oil-related news was mixed Wednesday, and the price bounced between $94.46 and $96.45.

The International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global crude demand in 2013 by 80,000 barrels a day. It now expects the world to consume 90.6 million barrels a day this year, 785,000 barrels a day more than in 2012.

But the Paris-based IEA, an umbrella group for oil-consuming nations, expects consumption to be somewhat higher toward the end of the year. Demand is forecast to be 1.1 million barrels a day higher in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.

The IEA said OPEC's output in May reached 30.89 million barrels a day, the highest in seven months, and significantly above the voluntary limit of 30 million barrels which the organization reaffirmed at its latest meeting on May 31.

OPEC's higher production, rising crude output in the U.S. and sluggish demand have helped keep oil prices below $100 a barrel since May of last year.

In the U.S., the Energy Department reported that oil supplies rose last week by 2.5 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 393.8 million barrels, which is 2.4 percent above year-ago levels.

Meanwhile, Brent crude, a benchmark for many international oil varieties, was up 75 cents to $103.72 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline was flat at $2.82 a gallon.
  • Heating oil rose 3 cents to $2.89 per gallon.
  • Natural gas added 5 cents to $3.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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