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Oil gains as OPEC raises demand forecast

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil rose Tuesday as OPEC upgraded its forecast for global demand and the Group of Seven industrial nations pledged not to devalue their currencies.

Benchmark oil gained 48 cents to finish at $97.51 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

OPEC, the Vienna-based organization comprising many of the world's key oil exporters, raised its 2013 forecast for global demand to 89.7 million barrels _ 80,000 barrels more than its previous forecast a month ago _ citing “some signs of recovery in the global economy and colder weather at the start of this year.”

It said about half of the demand increase over 2012 would come from China.

Oil prices were also supported by a rise in the euro against the dollar. The increase makes it cheaper for European traders to buy crude oil, which is priced in dollars. On Tuesday, the euro was up to $1.3459 from $1.3398 late Monday in New York.

The euro rose after the finance ministers from leading industrial nations, including the U.S., Japan and Germany, insisted they remained committed to exchange rates driven by the market _ not government policy _ and would consult closely when it comes to sharp movements in foreign currency markets.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 53 cents to end at $118.66 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

_ Wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to finish at $3.05 a gallon.

_ Natural gas fell 5 cents to end at $3.23 per 1,000 cubic feet.

_ Heating oil rose less than a cent to finish at $3.24 a gallon.

___

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok and Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.

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