Crude gains on geopolitical concerns

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Investing.com - Crude futures rose on Tuesday amid sentiments that the Russian standoff over Ukraine won't seriously ease anytime soon, while expectations that sanctions slapped on Iran for its nuclear ambitions won't be lifted in the near future also pressured prices higher.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June traded at $101.38 a barrel during U.S. trading, up 0.54%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $100.82 a barrel and a high of $102.20 a barrel.

The June contract settled up 0.24% at $100.85 a barrel on Monday.


Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $100.35 a barrel, Monday's low, and resistance at $102.35 a barrel, Thursday's high.

Pro-Russian separatists stormed regional government offices in Ukraine's eastern city of Luhansk on Tuesday, which pressured oil prices higher on fears Russian energy exports may be affected as the crisis drags on.

Russia is the world's second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, the U.S. earlier said Chinese and Middle Eastern companies were helping Iran sidestep weapons and oil sanctions, which left investors concluding that sanctions slapped on Tehran won't be lifted anytime soon.

Capping gains, however, were anticipations for increased exports from Libya.

Libyan government officials and rebels reached an agreement to re-open oil ports earlier this month, and expectations for crude to begin flowing sent investors bracing for increased global supply.

Lackluster U.S. data kept oil prices from taking off as well.

The Conference Board, a market research group, said its consumer confidence index declined to 82.3 in April from a 83.9 in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously reported 82.3.

Analysts had expected the index to inch down to 83.0 in April.

The Present Situation Index decreased to 78.3 from 82.5, while the Expectations Index was virtually unchanged at 84.9 versus 84.8 in March.

"Consumer confidence declined slightly in April, as consumers assessed current business and labor market conditions less favorably than in March," Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said in a statement.

"However, their expectations regarding the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market held steady. Thus, while sentiment regarding current conditions may have slipped a bit, consumers do not foresee the economy, or the labor market, losing the momentum that has been building up over the past several months."

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for June delivery were up 0.81%, trading at US$109.00 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$7.62 a barrel.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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