By Daniel Huang
Oil futures inched lower Friday as markets calmed a bit following Thursday's tumultuous news out of Ukraine and Israel.
Light sweet crude futures for August delivery fell 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $102.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude futures for September delivery fell 6 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $107.84 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.
A wave of global unrest Thursday--including news of an airliner shot down over Ukraine and Israeli military moves prior to invading the Gaza Strip--sparked a jump in prices. Traders flooded the market with activity as the events heightened fears of supply disruptions.
However, with no immediate threat to oil supplies, prices have stopped rising, analysts said.
"Geopolitical risk came back on stage yesterday [Thursday] and you saw a knee-jerk reaction to it in the market," said Richard Soultanian, president of NUS Consulting Group in New Jersey. "But you have to ask yourself, 'Did any of these things really have an impact on oil?'"
The market had grown complacent with ongoing tensions in the Middle East in recent weeks--with U.S. crude prices slipping below $100 a barrel Tuesday. Prices dropped as Libya increased oil production, and Iraq's oil fields remained far from the focus of fighting in the nation. Also, U.S. oil inventory data has consistently shown high levels of domestic supply.
"Gains are being restricted by excess supplies," said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch & Associates in a note.
Front-month August reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, was up 0.2 cent to $2.8834 a gallon. August diesel was up 0.3 cent at $2.8626 a gallon.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 18, 2014 11:34 ET (15:34 GMT)
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