Brent crude oil stead­ies un­der $110 af­ter 6-week high

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS -

Brent crude stead­ied un­der $110 a bar­rel yes­ter­day, af­ter hit­ting a sixweek high in the pre­vi­ous ses­sion, as traders as­sessed the risk that ris­ing ten­sions in Ukraine could dis­rupt sup­plies from Rus­sia.

With Rus­sian troops mass­ing on the bor­der with Ukraine and three sep­a­ratists killed overnight in east­ern Ukraine, the prospects of de­fus­ing the cri­sis at talks in Geneva ap­peared slim.

While the United States and Euro­pean Union have stopped short of im­pos­ing sanc­tions on Rus­sia’s oil and gas ex­ports, ten­sions with be­tween them and the world’s sec­ond-largest crude ex­porter have en­ergy mar­kets on edge.

“Oil prices re­main sup­ported by the Ukrainian risk pre­mium ahead of the long Easter weekend,” said Ab­hishek Desh­pande, a com­modi­ties an­a­lyst at Natixis in Lon­don. “While the talks in Geneva may be weigh­ing on prices slightly, with clashes con­tin­u­ing in Ukraine as we speak, the chance of a res­o­lu­tion be­ing found to­day is not very high.” U.S. oil for de­liv­ery in May rose 15 cents to $103.91 a bar­rel. The con­tract had also touched a six-week high of $104.99 in the pre­vi­ous ses­sion.

Data showed U.S. in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion rose at a faster-thanex­pected clip in March, the lat­est sign that the econ­omy of the world’s largest oil con­sumer is gain­ing mo­men­tum.

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