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Oil prices edge higher; WTI at 6-week high


Oil prices finished higher Wednesday after trading at a loss for most of the day as a climb in US crude inventories was countered by a fall in stocks of products.

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for May delivery, the New York benchmark, added 24 cents to $96.58 a barrel, its best level in six weeks.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for May gained 33 cents from Tuesday to $109.69 a barrel.

The Department of Energy's weekly US oil industry review said crude inventories had mounted by 3.3 million barrels during the past week, but that refinery throughput had also risen and refined product stocks had fallen.

Continued nervousness in the eurozone over the economic crisis in Cyprus weakened demand, as did the falling euro.

Oil prices had rallied on Tuesday as data showed US home prices crept higher in January and new orders for durable goods surged 5.7 percent in February, driven by a sharp rise in civilian aircraft sales.

Positive US economic numbers continue "to be a white knight within the unpredictable global economy," IG Markets Singapore said in a report.