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Oil ends with slim gains; US budget deadlock curbs gains

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Oil posted slim gains on Friday, as the budget standoff in the United States continued and uncertainty about when it would end gripped the market.

As the shutdown entered its fourth day - with nearly 1 million government workers at home without pay - some federal agencies and programs stopped functioning, cutting into the release of key economic data.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, for instance, will not publish its weekly Commitment of Traders report that was scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

Global leaders and analysts were concerned the shutdown would hurt economic growth and limit oil demand in the world's largest oil consumer.

An approaching tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico continued to limit losses. Half of oil output was shut in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Karen's arrival, providing support.

Brent crude rose 40 cents to above $109. U.S. crude settled up 53 cents at $103.84.

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--By Reuters