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Oil rises to just below US$85 per barrel on back of euro, market rally

SINGAPORE--Oil rose to near US$85 a barrel Friday in Asia, boosted by a global stock market rally and a stronger euro.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was up 65 cents to US$84.56 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose US$1.29 to settle at US$83.91 in New York on Thursday.

In London, Brent crude for August delivery was up 67 cents at US$97.84 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

In other energy trading, heating oil was up 1.7 cent at US$2.64 per gallon while gasoline futures rose 2 cents at US$2.62 per gallon. Natural gas gained 2.4 cents at US$2.52 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Oil traders often look to stock markets as a barometer of overall investor sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.2 percent Thursday amid speculation central banks may announce stimulus measures to help boost flagging global economic growth. Most Asian and European stock markets gained Friday.

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