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EXPECTATIONS OF INVASION PUSH OIL PRICES HIGHER

Crude oil prices edged upward Friday, sustaining a turnaround after steep losses earlier this week and reflecting some expectations over a U.S. invasion of Haiti.

But trading was extremely light, reflecting both a long weekend tied to the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which was Thursday, and absence of fundamental market-moving news.Light sweet crude oil for delivery in October settled at $16.83 per barrel, up 13 cents at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"We saw some mild firming of the contract primarily on the basis of the possible invasion of Haiti," said Tom Curtis, director of energy research at Pegasus Econometric Group. "As is always the case when there's fear of some armed hostilities generally the market rises. It wasn't a big consequence."

Energy futures had fallen sharply earlier this week as the market adjusted to the end of the summer driving season, when demand for gasoline is up, and a report of plentiful inventories.

Most picked up again Thursday and Friday as traders rebalanced their holdings.

October contracts for unleaded gasoline rose 0.55 cent to 44.74 cents a gallon.