SINGAPORE, April 24, 2014 (BSS/AFP) – Oil prices rebounded
in Asian trade today as heightened tensions in Ukraine
overshadowed data showing US commercial crude oil inventories
reaching an all- time high.
New York’s West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, was up
24 cents at $101.68 a barrel in mid-morning trade, and Brent
North Sea crude for June rose 19 cents to $109.30.
Both contracts tumbled Wednesday on the US stockpiles data,
which indicate softer demand at a time of robust production in
the world’s biggest oil consuming nation.
Stocks rose 3.5 million barrels to 397.7 million barrels for
the week ended April 18, official figures showed, larger than the
2.4 million expected by analysts.
“While key economic data from US and Europe will be released
this week, oil markets will continue to influenced by
geopolitical events,” said Sanjeev Gupta, who heads the Asia-
Pacific Oil & Gas practice at professional services firm EY.
In Eastern Europe an agreement between Ukraine, Russia and
Western powers in Geneva last week to pull the country from the
brink of civil war appeared shaky after a gunfight on Sunday
killed at least two pro-Moscow rebels.
On Wednesday, Russia hinted it will strike back if its
“legitimate interests” in the former Soviet state are attacked
after Kiev sent in forces to dislodge militants who have occupied
government buildings there.
Moscow wants Ukraine’s pro-Western government to withdraw
Ukraine, being a major conduit for Russian natural gas to
Western Europe, is monitored closely by investors, who are
concerned that a full-scale armed conflict will disrupt supplies
and send prices skyrocketing.