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Oil Rises on Hopes of Avoiding ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Gasoline pumps are seen a Shell filling station
(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) – The price of oil is up by more than $2 a barrel on optimism that a deal to avert a so-called fiscal cliff will be reached before year’s end.

Benchmark crude is up $2.08, or 2.4 percent, to $88.57 just after 10 a.m. in New York.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is meeting with congressional leaders Thursday, a day after President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner said that negotiations are progressing.

Wall Street is up on the news as well as well.

If no deal is reached, a series of tax increases and spending cuts will land simultaneously in January.

Also Thursday, the Commerce Department raised its estimate for U.S. economic growth. Any sign the economic recovery is picking up would be a catalyst for energy prices.

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