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Oil rises above $93 a barrel on stock market rally

Pablo Gorondi, Associated Press

The price of oil rose to above $93 a barrel Tuesday, encouraged by recent gains on equity markets which overshadowed another expected rise in U.S. crude supplies.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for April delivery was up 96 cents to $93.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 11 cents to end at $92.06 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

While stock markets in Asia wilted on Tuesday and showed only small gains in most of Europe, the Dow Jones industrial average added one more session of gains on Monday for a seven-day streak.

Oil prices were also supported by a weaker dollar against the euro, which makes crude cheaper for traders using the euro. On Tuesday the euro was up at $1.3067 from $1.3034 late Monday in New York.

Many traders believe the large supply of oil in the U.S. is keeping a lid on prices. Last week, the Energy Department said that the nation's supply of crude is 10.3 percent above year-ago levels. And U.S. oil production, at more than 7 million barrels a day, is at the highest level since the late 1990s.

Data for the week ending March 8 is expected to show a build of 2.3 million barrels in crude oil stocks and a draw of 1.5 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The American Petroleum Institute will release its report on oil stocks later Tuesday, while the report from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration — the market benchmark — will be out on Wednesday.

Brent crude, used to price many kinds of oil imported by U.S. refineries, was up 73 cents to $110.95 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 2.47 cents to $3.1771 a gallon.

— Heating oil added 3.03 cents to $2.9994 a gallon.

— Natural gas advanced 2.2 cents to $3.671 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.