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Crude oil holds steady

Feb. 14, 2013 at 6:04 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices rose slightly Thursday in New York amidst a rising dollar and downbeat economic data from Europe.

The dollar index rose 0.39 percent to 80.38 on the International Exchange.

The dollar rose as the European Union's data office Eurostat said the gross domestic product in the eurozone failed to make headway for the fifth consecutive quarter, falling for the past three.

First-time unemployment claims for state benefits fell sharply in the week, dropping by 27,000 to 341,000, balancing out the negative news.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for March delivery added 9ccents to $97.30 per barrel.

Reformulated blendstock gasoline gained 8.2 cents to $3.132 per gallon. Heating oil lost 0.1 cent to $3.224 per gallon.

Natural gas shed 11.8 cents to $3.173 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline, up for eight consecutive weeks, added 1 penny from Wednesday to Thursday to reach $3.628 per gallon, AAA said.

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