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NYMEX crude eases in Asia on profit taking from overnight gains

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Shutterstock photo - - Crude oil prices fell in Asia Thursday on profit taking after strong overnight gains.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery in June traded at $102.03 a barrel, down 0.34%, after hitting an overnight session low of $101.82 a barrel and a high of $102.64 a barrel.

Brent oil on ICE Futures Europe settled up 88 cents, or 0.8%, to $110.41 a barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories increased by 947,000 barrels in the week ending May 9, defying expectations for a decline of 100,000 barrels.

Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 398.5 million barrels as of last week.

Still, markets applauded the report due to data revealing a 592,000-barrel draw at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, a sign bottlenecks may be loosening.

The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 772,000 barrels, compared to forecasts for a gain of 143,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles decreased by 1.1 million barrels, compared to expectations for a gain of 0.6 million barrels.

Upbeat wholesale pricing data supported the growth-sensitive commodity as well.

The Commerce Department reported earlier that producer prices increased by 0.6% last month, beating forecasts for a 0.2% gain, after rising 0.5% in March.

Year-over-year, the producer price index rose 2.1% in April, beating expectations for a 1.7% increase and up from 1.4% in the preceding month.

The core producer price index, which is stripped of volatile food and energy items, advanced 0.5% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.2% increase, after rising 0.6% in March.

Core produces prices rose at an annualized rate of 1.9% in April, beating forecasts for a 1.4% gain and after climbing 1.4% in the preceding month.

Markets continued to monitor events in Ukraine, as conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces continued to escalate, stoking fears that the crisis will develop and drag the U.S. deeper into the standoff and possibly crimp Russian exports.

Russia produced 10.4 million barrels of oil per day in 2012 and exported 7.4 million, making it the world's second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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