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Oil snaps 2 days of steep losses

Oil prices broke two days of steep losses Friday and scrambled back above US$93 a barrel amid official predictions that economic growth in Europe will accelerate in the second half of the year. Ample supplies kept gains in check.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery was up 30 cents at US$93.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The contract fell $2.38, or 2.5 per cent, to finish at US$92.84 a barrel in New York on Thursday, the second drop of two per cent or more in two days.

The European Union's executive arm, the European Commission, said Friday that it expects the recession currently afflicting the economy of the 17 countries sharing the euro to bottom out in the first half of 2013, with growth seen reaching an annual rate of 0.7 per cent in the last three months of the year. In 2014, growth in the eurozone is forecast to accelerate to 1.4 per cent.

This has not stopped the rise at the pumps, here is a snap shot of today's prices.



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