Oil prices rose by as much as 49 cents a barrel.

The heated price rally was sparked by an industry report that showed the U.S. oil surplus is subsiding. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude for immediate delivery, surged by 49 cents to $18.47 a barrel. On the U.S. Gulf Coast market, where oil is sold to the highest bidder, West Texas intermediate climbed 30 cents to $18.10 a barrel. On the European spot market, Britain's North Sea Brent crude gained 30 cents to $17.75 a barrel.

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