March 7, 2014 / 12:36 AM / 4 years ago

NYMEX-Oil hovers $101.80 with intensifying Ukraine risks

SEOUL, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures reached $101.80 a barrel on Friday in early Asian trade as the market watched for any supply disruption of oil and gas from Russia to Europe as tensions in Crimea intensified.


* U.S. crude gained 24 cents at $101.80 a barrel as of 0001 GMT.

* Brent settled 34 cents higher at $108.10, but was not able to push higher than its 200-day moving average.

* Crimea’s Moscow-backed parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and scheduled a referendum on the split for March 16 -- a dramatic escalation of the Ukraine crisis.

* U.S. President Barack Obama ordered sanctions on those responsible for Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine, including bans on travel to the United States and freezing of their U.S. assets. He echoed European Union leaders and the pro-Western government in Ukraine in declaring that the proposed referendum would violate international law.

* Obama urged Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to accept the terms of a potential diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis in a phone call that lasted an hour.

* The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill backing $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine, the first formal response by U.S. lawmakers to the worst crisis in U.S.-Russia relations since the Cold War.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected and hit a three-month low last week, a sign of strength in a labor market that has been hobbled by severe weather.

* But a signal for economic recovery was mixed as new orders for U.S. factory goods fell more than expected in January and shipments also slipped, adding to signs of a recent slowdown in manufacturing activity.

* The European Central Bank decided not to take any action at its meeting on Thursday because economic and monetary conditions had not changed enough to warrant it, ECB President Mario Draghi said.


* Gold rose 1 percent on Thursday, nearing four-month highs hit earlier in the week, as the dollar tumbled against the euro and oil, copper and corn climbed too, pushing commodities broadly higher.

* World share markets also rose on Thursday, supported by hopes that diplomatic efforts would cool the crisis in Ukraine. Standard & Poor’s 500 index hit a record high, propelled partly by a bigger-than-expected drop in U.S. weekly jobless claims.


* The following data is expected on Friday: (Time in GMT)


1100 Germany Industrial output

1330 U.S. Unemployment rate

1330 U.S. Nonfarm payrolls

1330 U.S. International trade

Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Michael Perry

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