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Oil nearly unchanged as Cyprus uncertainty lingers

Pamela Sampson, AP Business Writer

BANGKOK (AP) -- The price of oil rose was nearly unchanged Friday after a big dip the day before as the financial crisis in Cyprus kept traders on edge.

Benchmark oil for May delivery was up 2 cents to $92.47 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 1 percent on Thursday, falling $1.05 to finish at $92.45.

The European Central Bank has threatened to end emergency support of Cyprus's banks next week unless leaders can secure more funding.

Cyprus must raise about 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) by Monday to avoid bankruptcy. Several plans have failed, including a proposal to tax deposits in the nation's banks. If the Mediterranean country is unable to secure a bailout, its banks will fail and it could be forced to leave the euro currency.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, fell 38 cents to $107.01 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 1.3 cents to $3.044 a gallon.

— Heating oil fell 0.9 cent to $2.97 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 0.8 cent to $3.939 per 1,000 cubic feet.