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Oil rises above US$104 a barrel ahead of Ukraine vote, U.S. holiday weekend

Pumpjacks at work pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

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Pumpjacks at work pumping crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., June 20, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

The price of oil rose above US$104 a barrel Friday ahead of a holiday weekend in the United States and national elections in Ukraine on Sunday.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery gained 61 cents to close at US$104.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil ended the week with a gain of $2.33 a barrel, or 2.3 per cent.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, added 18 cents to US$110.54 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Ukrainians vote Sunday in an early presidential election that could be a crucial step toward resolving the country's crisis, but clashes between pro-Russia separatists and government forces appeared to be heating up. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would respect the outcome of the election.

Holidays will keep markets closed on Monday in both the United States and Britain.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex, wholesale gasoline rose two cents to US$3.02 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil was flat at US$2.95 a gallon and natural gas rose five cents to $4.41 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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

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