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[ 2010/12/21 ]
Cold weather, Christmas demand fuels oil prices
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February delivery, gained nine cents to 89.46 dollars.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February rose 11 cents to 92.85 dollars a barrel in London trade.

"Crude oil prices climbed, lifted by strong gasoline futures ahead of expected holiday demand and also by cold weather, which supported heating oil futures," Phillip Futures said in a report.

Gasoline prices had late Monday hit "their highest level since May on hopes that holiday driving will boost demand," it added.

A deep freeze chilling the European continent and northeastern United States was also fuelling an oil price rally due to increased energy demand for heating, the report stated.

Thousands of angry travellers struggled Monday to get home for Christmas as snow and ice caused fresh chaos at European airports and paralysed roads and railways across the frozen continent.

International hubs London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels tried to clear a backlog of passengers forced to sleep on terminal floors for up to three days as they sought to reach their destinations by the end of the week.
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