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Oil prices were mixed Tuesday, as lower-than-expected inventories buoyed the US crude grade while refinery maintenance in Europe weighed on oil prices in the region.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 rose $1.07, or 1.7 percent, to $62.75 a barrel by 1:56 p.m. EST (1856 GMT) after peaking at $63.09, its highest since February 7.

Oil surged to the highest in two weeks as American supplies unexpectedly shrank and exports surged, dispelling fears that a new shale boom will leave the country awash in crude. Analysts had expected a small build of 1.333 million barrels in crude oil inventories, instead.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the currency against 10 major peers, rose as much as 0.6 percent.

WTI Crude oil futures witnessed sustained losses amid weak equities and a rise in the USA dollar.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 97 cents to settle up about 1.5 percent at $66.39 a barrel.

WTI and Brent crude oil futures are likely to remain under pressure on Thursday as long as the U.S. Dollar continues to climb.

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Crude prices closed at a one-week high Friday, after having fallen by more than 12% in the first weeks of February, weighed down by concerns of surging USA output eclipsing demand as forecast by the International Energy Agency. Then, crude prices fell from a high of $71 a barrel in January to around $62.

"It makes more sense to liquidate your on-hand inventories", Lipow said.

Last week, the amount of U.S. oil rigs drilling for new production rose for a fourth straight week to 798, in an indication that USA crude output, already at a record 10.27 million bpd, may rise further.

That's good news for India, which imports 78 per cent of its crude oil needs. WTI Crude oil futures are down 1% at $61 per barrel.

"Oil prices and the S&P have been highly correlated, of late, with economic strength translating into improved company performance and higher energy demand", said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in NY. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

The dollar rose against other major currencies, buoyed by the rise in short-term US government bond yields their highest in over nine years and ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's most recent policy-setting meeting, which may signal the pace of any interest rate rises.


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