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Oil prices rise, snapping long losing streak

Oil prices rebounded, snapping out of a long losing streak tied to easing concerns about potential Middle East supply disruptions.

NEW YORK: Oil prices rebounded on Thursday, snapping out of a long losing streak tied to easing concerns about potential Middle East supply disruptions.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August rose 64 cents to close at $102.93 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending nine straight sessions of losses.

Brent North Sea for delivery in August broke off an eight-day losing streak, adding 39 cents to settle at $108.67 a barrel in London trade.

"The petroleum markets are showing some signs of stabilizing after the persistent decline over the past two weeks, suggesting that the return of Libyan oil production and exports to the market has been largely priced in," said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.

Evans said that an OPEC monthly oil report showing the cartel's production declined 79,000 barrels per day in June as Iraqi output fell amid a deadly Islamic militant offensive may have also helped ease the market's jitters.

WTI opened in negative territory and looked set for a 10th straight loss, but managed later in the session to catch a "wave of buying that came on all the markets," said John Kilduff of Again Capital.

Kilduff said the rebound above all was a technical correction after the sharp price fall.

Weighing on prices earlier in the day was Chinese trade data showing crude-oil imports in the world's largest energy consumer fell almost eight percent in June from May, Commerzbank said.

Imports of 5.67 million barrels a day last month "was also the second-lowest monthly import volume of the year," the German bank said in a research note.

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