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Oil prices fluctuate

Oil prices switched between small gains and losses on Thursday, as coming data on the number of active U.S. oil rigs helped rekindle concerns surrounding growth in domestic crude output.
    
Crude oil for May delivery traded a penny higher at $53.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after having traded as low as $52.82.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said the demand for oil is expected to slow for the second year in a row.
    
The forecast comes after years of excess supply, which last year prompted major oil producers to agree to cuts in output.
    
The IEA said the oil market was now "very close to balance". But the organisation predicted supply would grow in coming months, with US oil-producing firms driving the increase.



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