Oil slips below $102 on forecasts of rising U.S. crude supplies

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The price of oil fell 19 cents to US$101.56 in Asia on Wednesday as traders awaited weekly data expected to show rising U.S. crude stockpiles.

U.S. crude for May delivery closed at $101.75 Tuesday in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down $1.90 from its close Monday at $103.65.

Brent crude, an international benchmark for oil, eased 7 cents to $109.20 on the ICE Futures exchange in London after closing at $109.27.

Despite expectations that U.S. supplies may outpace demand, investors worry that fresh sanctions against Russia may disrupt Russian oil and gas exports.

Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine have occupied government buildings and set up checkpoints in demand of closer ties with Russia.

Just hours after U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden visited the Ukrainian capital to show support, Ukraine’s acting president ordered security forces to resume operations in the country’s east, raising fears that last week’s international agreement on easing the crisis may be unravelling.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline was flat at $3.04 a gallon.

— May heating oil was almost unchanged at $2.99 a gallon.

— Natural gas for May edged 0.1 cent lower to $4.73 per thousand cubic feet.

(TSX:ECA, TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:HSE, NYSE:BP, NYSE:COP, NYSE:XOM, NYSE:CVX, TSX:CNQ, TSX:TLM, TSX:COS.UN, TSX:CVE)

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