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NYMEX crude oil prices gain in Asia as Ukraine, Middle East support

CommoditiesJul 27, 2014 07:12PM ET
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NYMEX crude prices up in Asia

Investing.com - Crude oil prices rose in early Asia on Monday as investors watched for volatility on events in Russia-Ukraine and the Middle East.

The Ukrainian government said at the weekend that it regained control of the separatist stronghold of Lysychansk after several days of fierce fighting, a move it said would pave the way to take back a string of other important rebel-held positions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed to secure a temporary cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas after nearly a week of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, but pledged to continue his efforts over the weekend.

Markets in many parts of Southeast Asia are closed to mark the Eid holiday.

Additionally, there no major releases scheduled in the region's major economies such as Japan and China, pointing to the likelihood of a quiet day ahead.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in September traded at $101.78 a barrel, up 0.31%, after settling last week at $102.09, up 0.02%.

Last week, Brent oil futures rallied to a one-week high as investors continued to assess the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East.

On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for September delivery rose to a daily high of $108.46 a barrel on Friday, the most since July 18, before settling at $108.39 by close of trade, up 1.23%, or $1.32.

The September Brent contract advanced 1.06%, or $1.15, on the week, the second consecutive weekly gain.

Investors continued to closely watch an intensifying geopolitical crisis between Moscow and the West over the situation in Ukraine.

The Pentagon said Friday that Russia has escalated the violence in Ukraine and may be set to provide more sophisticated weapons to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

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

Meanwhile, fighting between Israel and Hamas showed little sign of abating, despite ongoing efforts by the U.S. to reach a ceasefire.

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

In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Wednesday’s preliminary reading on U.S. second quarter growth, while Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report will also be in focus.

Wednesday’s Fed statement will also be closely watched for any indications that the central bank is moving closer to raising rates.

The Commerce Department on Friday reported a rise of 0.7% in orders of long lasting goods such as machinery and electronic products, compared to forecasts of 0.5%.

NYMEX crude oil prices gain in Asia as Ukraine, Middle East support
 

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