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Crude oil futures fluctuate in choppy trade on geopolitical turmoil

Published 07/21/2014, 10:42 AM
Updated 07/21/2014, 10:42 AM
Crude oil futures fluctuate in choppy trade on geopolitical turmoil - Crude oil futures swung between small gains and losses on Monday, as traders awaited new developments from Ukraine and the Middle East.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in September eased up 0.07%, or 7 cents, to trade at $102.02 a barrel during U.S. morning hours.

Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery tacked on 0.01%, or 1 cent, to trade at $107.25 a barrel.

Meanwhile the spread between the Brent and the WTI crude contracts stood at $5.23 a barrel.

Investors remained cautious following the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine late last week, with the U.S. blaming pro-Russian separatists for the act.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that there was overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of the airliner. Russia and Ukraine still accuse each other of being behind the downed passenger plane.

Western leaders from the U.K., France and Germany have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of increased sanctions by Tuesday if international investigators are not allowed full access to the crash site.

Russia is one of the world's top producers and exporters of oil and gas.

Meanwhile, the conflict in Gaza also remained in focus.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Monday that the Palestinian death toll in the two-week-old Israeli offensive rose by more than 80 during the night and now exceeds 500.

Despite heavy casualties, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that military operations against Hamas militants could be expanded.

Market participants are worried that a flare up in the conflict could draw in neighboring countries and affect oil supplies.

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