Oil prices were also boosted by the weaker dollar, which makes crude cheaper and a more enticing investment for traders using other currencies. On Wednesday, the euro was helped by rising consumer and business confidence in the 17 countries using the common currency and climbed to $1.3548, up from $1.3487 on Tuesday.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was up 51 cents to $114.87 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

â¿¿ Wholesale gasoline gained 0.8 cent to $2.9843 per gallon.

â¿¿ Natural gas rose 1.3 cents to $3.271 per 1,000 cubic feet.

â¿¿ Heating oil added 1.78 cents to $3.1164 a gallon.

___

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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