US oil settles at one month peak above $98 on cold snap

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U.S. crude oil rose about $1 on Thursday, after government data showed solid economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year and as cold weather was expected to boost oil demand.

Gross domestic product in the U.S. grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said, a far stronger performance than economists anticipated earlier in the quarter and a bullish sign for energy demand.

The arctic chill held its grip on the U.S. Midwest and Northeast, driving a larger-than-expected draw on U.S. distillates stocks including heating oil, government data from Wednesday showed.

Brent crude traded slightly higher, boosted by concerns over supply interruptions from Libya and expected declines in OPEC production. However, growing evidence of a fuel demand slowdown in the second-biggest oil consumer, China, capped gains.

Brent crude was flat near $108 a barrel, after settling 44 cents higher the previous day. U.S. oil rose by 87 cents to settle at $98.23, its highest since Dec. 31.

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