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Oil rises, but natural gas sinks in volatile trade

February 24, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil rose Monday as another cold spell for the U.S. Midwest and Northeast was expected to boost demand for heating oil at a time when many refineries are undergoing seasonal maintenance.

Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery gained 62 cents to $102.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Natural gas futures were volatile, at one point nearing $6.50 per 1,000 cubic feet before dropping. Natural gas finished down 69 cents, or 11 percent, to $5.45. Although cold weather has returned to many areas after a brief warm spell, some forecasts suggest warmer weather by the end of next week. Profit-taking may have also pushed prices lower, traders said.

Brent crude, which is used to set prices for international varieties of crude, rose 79 cents to $110.64 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was flat at $2.83 per gallon.

— Heating oil fell 1 cent to $3.09 a gallon.

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