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Oil briefly tops $100 as demand for fuel rises

NEW YORK — The price of oil briefly rose above $100 a barrel for the first time this year on rising demand for fuel and some positive sentiment about the US job market.

Benchmark US crude for March delivery gained $2.04, or 2.1 percent, to close at $99.88 a barrel the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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Oil climbed to $100.21 in the afternoon before dropping back. Oil last topped $100 on Dec. 30.

Energy analyst Stephen Schork said oil’s rise was brought about by rising prices for wholesale gasoline and low supplies of diesel and heating oil. That combination will encourage refiners to buy and process more crude oil.

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