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Oil tops $104 on Ukraine fears

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm •  Published: April 17, 2014

The price of oil rose past $104 per barrel Thursday on worries over the upheaval in Ukraine.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose 54 cents to close at $104.30 a barrel in New York.

Supplies in the U.S. are ample — the Energy Department reported the biggest gain in stocks in 13 years Wednesday.

But that wasn't enough to calm the fears of traders this week, who worry that Russia's actions in response to the turmoil in Ukraine could be met with sanctions that disrupt exports of Russia's oil and gas.

Despite indications of a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine Thursday, traders remained concerned that the situation could worsen over the coming long weekend and were reluctant to sell oil.

Oil markets are closed Friday.

Energy Analyst Jim Ritterbusch expects oil prices to quickly fall back next week if the Ukraine crisis does not worsen. "We still expect some downside rotation through the balance of this month," he wrote in a note to investors.

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