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Oil Tops $104

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Crude oil for August delivery rose 85 cents, or 0.8%, to $104.38 a barrel in electronic trade. Prices also kept hold of gains following the release of weak trade data from China, including a 1.4% drop in first-half oil imports.The bump up in oil prices beyond the $104 level came after the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday said crude supplies fell 9 million barrels for the week ended July 5. A Platts survey of analysts had projected a decline of 3.8 million barrels.“This is a big shock,” said Price Futures Group senior market analyst Phil Flynn. “While most were looking at another drawdown in supply, no one expected this drop.”