PABLO GORONDI
Associated Press
July 18, 2008

Oil prices rose above $131 a barrel Friday as news of an output cut in Nigeria helped to halt the sharp decline in prices that began three days ago.

Oil futures were also bolstered by investors who saw an opportunity to buy into the market after prices fell nearly 11 percent, earlier in the week.

By the afternoon in Europe, light, sweet crude for August delivery was up $1.88 at $131.17 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Prices Friday were fluctuating between a low of $128.54 and a high of $132.04, responding also to relatively small changes in the valuation of the U.S. dollar against the euro and the Japanese yen.

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