Oil near $104 as traders weigh supplies, Ukraine

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 17, 2014 at 8:25 am •  Published: April 17, 2014

The price of oil remained near $104 a barrel Thursday as investors weighed the upheaval in Ukraine against a big increase in U.S. oil supplies.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was up 14 cents to $103.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Nymex contract rose 1 cent on Wednesday.

Trading was somewhat cautious ahead of a long weekend — the market will be closed on Good Friday, one of only three days a year in which oil is not traded either electronically or through open outcry.

The market was otherwise contained by opposing influences.

Tensions remained over Ukraine, where pro-Russian militants clashed with Ukrainian forces in the country's east as authorities tried to reassert control over a region where some are pushing to secede and join Russia.

Officials from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union were meeting in Geneva on Thursday for negotiations aimed at persuading Russia to back off in Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea. Traders worry that Russia's actions could be met with sanctions that disrupt exports of the country's oil and gas.

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