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Oil edges down as U.S. inventories rise, but still above $103

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The price of oil drifted down Friday after U.S. crude inventories rose in a possible sign of slack demand.

Benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery was down 38 cents to US$103.20 a barrel at 4:35 a.m. ET in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 86 cents to close Thursday at $103.58.

The Energy Department said Thursday that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 1.7 million barrels during the week ended May 23.

Oil's fall was limited Friday by a higher demand outlook for the summer and a decrease in oil supplies at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub for storage of benchmark crude.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, inched down 10 cents to $109.87 a barrel in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline was down 0.3 cent to $2.999 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 1.8 cents to $4.577 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil dipped 0.2 cent to $2.922 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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