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crude oil

Brent hits 3-week low as Ukraine tensions cool

Brent crude slipped to a three-week low near $108 on Thursday, on ample supply in the United States and as tensions over Ukraine cooled.

Ukraine's President-elect and western leaders are working on a peace plan to end violence in the east of the country which caused oil prices to rise above $110 a barrel in May.

Brent crude fell for a fifth session, matching a similar losing run in January, and was down 50 cents under $108 a barrel. It earlier hit $108, its lowest since May 12. U.S. crude for July delivery fell 40 cents to near $102 a barrel, undermined by jobless claims data that rose by more than expected.

Brent's premium to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude on Wednesday fell below $6, its narrowest since April 15, after crude stockpiles in the United States dropped more than expected on lower imports and higher refinery utilization rates.

Further crude drawdowns at WTI's delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma could strengthen the U.S. oil benchmark and narrow its spread with Brent to $3.30 a barrel by end-June, Hasegawa said.

But crude stocks remain near the top of the typical range for this time of year and an overall 8.8-million barrel rise in total hydrocarbon inventories last week painted a bearish picture, BNP Paribas analysts said in a note.

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  • Department of Energy Weekly Report (Wednesdays 10:30am est)
  • American Petroleum Institute Weekly Report (Wednesdays 10:30am Est)
  • Natural Gas Inventories Weekly Report (Thursdays 10:30am est)
  • OPEC Production Quotas
  • OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report
  • Non-OPEC Oil Production
  • Mideast Stability
  • Weather- Related demand
  • CFTC Commitment of Traders Report
  • Energy Information Administration Report (Tuesday afternoons)
  • International Energy Agency Policy
  • Chinese (Asian) demand
  • Iraqi production and export levels
  • Russian shale production
  • Alternation Energy production and technological breakthroughs
  • Inflation
  • Dollar weakness and purchasing power
  • Refining Capacity
  • Weather related refining production limitations (eg hurricanes in the gulf)
  • Venezuelan Production
  • Venezuelan Foreign Policy in relation with US
  • Iran Nuclear dispute status
  • US Strategic Petroleum Reserves
  • US New Drilling and Exploratory Initiatives
  • Oil Spills
  • International Energy Agency Reserves
  • General Accountability Office Study on Geopolitical Disruptions
  • International and Domestic Tax rates relating to oil and gasoline
  • New Geopolitical order after Arab Spring

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