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Oil extends gains in Asia on unusually cold U.S. weather

A City of Hutchison, Kan., front end loader clears snow from intersections on S. Main St. Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. The winter storm dumped more than 10 inches of snow on the city from late Monday to late Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Hutchinson News, Travis Morisse)

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A City of Hutchison, Kan., front end loader clears snow from intersections on S. Main St. Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. The winter storm dumped more than 10 inches of snow on the city from late Monday to late Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Hutchinson News, Travis Morisse)

The price of oil rose Wednesday in Asia on prospects U.S. demand will hold up amid cold weather, offsetting worries about a slowdown in emerging economies.

Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was up 59 cents to US$97.78 a barrel at 3:35 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 76 cents to close at $97.19 on Monday in New York.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil used by many U.S. refineries, was up 38 cents at $106.16 on the ICE exchange in London.

Northeastern U.S. is bracing for a second storm of the week, forcing classes to be cancelled and government and business offices to close. Anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more of snow is expected to fall on East Coast states, and some places are expected to get freezing rain and sleet.

Although the slowdown in China and some emerging markets has worked to dampen oil prices, the unusually cold winter in the U.S. has helped push them back up.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline inched up 1.3 cents to $2.617 a gallon.

— Heating oil added 1.5 cents to $2.998 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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