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Oil Gains; Erases Decline Since IEA Announced Stockpile Release

Oil rose for a third day, erasing its decline since the International Energy Agency announced the release of emergency stockpiles on June 23. Futures are still headed for their first quarterly loss in a year.

Crude for August delivery rose as much as 67 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $95.44 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $95.29 at 1:21 p.m. Singapore time. The contract settled at $95.41 a barrel on June 22, the day before the IEA said it would release 60 million barrels from strategic reserves, prompting a plunge in prices to as low as $89.69.

Prices are 26 percent higher the past year. Crude is down 11 percent in the second quarter, the first decline since the period ended June 30, 2010, after Europe’s debt crisis bolstered speculation fuel demand will shrink.

Brent oil for August settlement traded 27 cents higher at $112.67 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange today. The European benchmark contract traded at a premium of $17.37 to West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark grade. The spread reached a record $22.29 a barrel on June 15.

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