Oil prices decline

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New York, Feb 27 (IANS) Oil prices closed lower as investors took profits from earlier gains.

Oil prices grew broadly in the early session on Friday, with both US oil and Brent crude jumping about 3 percent around mid-day, as strong US gasoline demand and up-revised economic growth data boosted market sentiment, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to US Energy Information Agency’s weekly report released on Wednesday, US gasoline demand rose 5.2 percent over the past four weeks compared with a year ago.

Moreover, the US Commerce Department said on Friday in its second estimate that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, beating market consensus of 0.4 percent.

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In the previous estimate, the increase in real GDP for the fourth quarter of 2015 was 0.7 percent.

The West Texas Intermediate for April delivery moved down $0.29 to settle at $32.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery dropped $0.19 to close at $35.10 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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