crude oil

Brent hits 3-week low as Ukraine tensions cool

  • Print

Brent crude slipped to a three-week low near $108 on Thursday, on ample supply in the United States and as tensions over Ukraine cooled.

Ukraine's President-elect and western leaders are working on a peace plan to end violence in the east of the country which caused oil prices to rise above $110 a barrel in May.

Brent crude fell for a fifth session, matching a similar losing run in January, and was down 50 cents under $108 a barrel. It earlier hit $108, its lowest since May 12. U.S. crude for July delivery fell 40 cents to near $102 a barrel, undermined by jobless claims data that rose by more than expected.

Brent's premium to West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude on Wednesday fell below $6, its narrowest since April 15, after crude stockpiles in the United States dropped more than expected on lower imports and higher refinery utilization rates.

Further crude drawdowns at WTI's delivery point in Cushing, Oklahoma could strengthen the U.S. oil benchmark and narrow its spread with Brent to $3.30 a barrel by end-June, Hasegawa said.

But crude stocks remain near the top of the typical range for this time of year and an overall 8.8-million barrel rise in total hydrocarbon inventories last week painted a bearish picture, BNP Paribas analysts said in a note.

For more information on commodities, please click here.