By Eric Yep
Crude-oil futures moved in a narrow price range in Asian trade Friday after dropping overnight on high stockpiles of gasoline in the U.S. and as markets await tighter sanctions against Russia.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in September traded at $102.04 a barrel at 0607 GMT, down $0.03 in the Globex electronic session. September Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $0.14 to $107.21 a barrel.
Both the oil benchmarks lost almost a dollar each overnight, and Nymex crude has now settled lower for three of the past five sessions and Brent has been down for two of the past three sessions.
The real concern for U.S. crude-oil traders is that ample gasoline inventories and falling gasoline prices may prompt refiners to cut back on operating levels, analyst Tim Evans at Citi Futures said in a report.
Meanwhile, the European Union is readying sanctions on a range of Russian economic sectors, in an escalation of efforts to isolate Moscow for its alleged support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.
On Thursday, U.S. officials said Russia was firing artillery across its border at Ukrainian military positions, indicating that Moscow is directly engaging in hostilities against Ukrainian forces.
In Libya, the eastern port of Brega is set to restart crude exports after a tanker arrived Thursday, as the country ramps up exports despite escalating violence in the capital.
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for August--the benchmark gasoline contract--rose 58 points to $2.8426 a gallon, while August heating oil traded at $2.8766, 57 points higher.
ICE gasoil for August changed handsat $887.25 a metric ton, up $1.50 from Thursday's settlement.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 25, 2014 03:04 ET (07:04 GMT)
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