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Oil rises on improved US economic growth

December 20, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil edged closer to $100 a barrel Friday after the U.S. government said the economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter than originally estimated.

Benchmark U.S. oil rose 28 cents to close at $99.32. For the week, oil rose about 3 percent, largely because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. The last time oil closed above $100 a barrel was Oct. 18.

The Commerce Department said Friday that the U.S. economy grew at a solid 4.1 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest pace since late 2011 and significantly higher than previously believed. Much of the upward revision came from stronger consumer spending.

A stronger outlook for the economy and job market prompted the Federal Reserve this week to begin winding down its bond-buying program, which was intended to lower long-term interest rates and encourage more borrowing and spending.

Brent crude, a benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refiners, rose $1.48, or 1.3 percent, to close at $111.77.

In other energy futures trading, natural gas dropped 4 cents to $4.42 per 1,000 cubic feet (28.32 cubic meters).

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