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Crude falls on profit taking, Chinese inflation data

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Crude futures edged lower on Friday as investors sold the commodity for profits after locking in gains on Ukraine tensions and jumped to the sidelines to await fresh news to steer prices higher or lower.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude Oil for delivery in June traded at $99.90 a barrel during U.S. trading, down 0.36%. New York-traded oil futures hit a session low of $99.87 a barrel and a high of $101.15 a barrel.

The June contract settled down 0.51% at $100.26 a barrel on Thursday.

Nymex oil futures were likely to find support at $98.75 a barrel, the low from May 1, and resistance at $101.15 a barrel, the session high.

Concerns that Ukraine is descending into civil war have pushed up oil prices in recent sessions, as fears persist the conflict could disrupt shipments from Russia, the world's second-largest exporter after Saudi Arabia.

In Europe earlier, pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule and said they plan to go ahead on Sunday with a vote that some fear could lead to a civil war.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said earlier that the European Union was still struggling to agree on what approach to take on the crisis and added the event was the biggest threat to European security since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Still, oil prices fell after investors sold for profits and jumped to the sidelines to await fresh steering currents.

Soft Chinese pricing data pushed oil prices down as well.

China's April consumer price index rose 1.8% year-on-year, less than market expectations for a 2.0% gain, while the country's producer price index fell 2.0%, more than market calls for a 1.9% contraction.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil futures for June delivery were down 0.29% and trading at US$107.82 a barrel, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at US$7.92 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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