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Oil price gains to near $106 a barrel after surveys show China manufacturing improvement

The price of oil rose Tuesday on expectations for stronger demand following an improvement in manufacturing activity in China, the world's biggest oil importer.

A rise in the value of the U.S. dollar added to upward pressure on the price, along with the continued turmoil in Iraq, OPEC's second-largest exporter.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was up 31 cents to $105.68 a barrel at 0515 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract had fallen four trading days in a row after closing at a 10-month high of $107.26 on June 20 and lost 37 cents on Monday.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, climbed 27 cents to $112.63 a barrel in London.

Oil prices have risen in recent weeks on concerns that violence in Iraq, OPEC's second-largest exporter, would cut global supplies. They stabilized late last week as the stunning initial advance by insurgents lost momentum.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

—Wholesale gasoline edged up 0.4 cents to $3.047 a gallon.

—Natural gas fell 2.1 cents to $4.44 per 1,000 cubic feet.

—Heating oil added 0.5 cent to $2.981 a gallon.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

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