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Oil edges up as investors weigh Russia sanctions

Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery gained 44 cents to close at $101.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Associated Press

4/29/2014

NEW YORK — The price of oil crept above $101 a barrel Tuesday as investors assessed the latest sanctions on Russia over the country's role in the crisis in Ukraine.

Benchmark U.S. crude for June delivery gained 44 cents to close at $101.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, an international benchmark used to price oil used by many U.S. refineries, rose 86 cents to $108.98 in London.

Investors were contemplating the impact of new sanctions by the United States and its European allies on more than two dozen government officials, executives and companies in Russia, a major energy producer. The sanctions were not as harsh as feared, with no public companies or major sectors of the economies affected.

"While the crisis has had limited impact on energy flows so far, the tensions may presage a period of volatile geopolitics in the former Soviet Union," analysts at Barclay's wrote in a report.

Investors will also be monitoring fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude oil and refined products. They will also weigh key data on the U.S. job market, as payroll processing company ADP issues a report Wednesday and the U.S. governments issues its unemployment report for April on Friday.

U.S. crude stocks have been on the climb and were 13 percent above five-year averages two weeks ago.

Figures for the week ending April 25 are expected to show an increase of 2.1 million barrels in crude oil stocks and a decline of 1.75 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 2 cents to $3.06 a gallon.

— Heating oil added 2 cents to $2.97 a gallon.

— Natural gas gained 3 cents to $4.83 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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