Brent Steady Despite US Inventory Expectations
Brent crude oil was steady near $108 on Tuesday despite expectations that US inventories reached a new record high last week.
The commodity traded at $107.85 at 8:15 GMT on Tuesday morning, supported by worsening tension in Ukraine.
Tension rose in the eastern part of Ukraine as clashes between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces turned violent.
Rebel groups shot down a Ukrainian helicopter as the two sides fought in Slaviansk.
According to CNBC, Ukrainian officials are sending police special forces to Odessa in an effort to contain the rebellion to the eastern part of the nation.
Oil prices saw a lift as the conflict showed its first signs of affecting Russian energy exports as diesel shipments to Ukraine and Hungary were held up last month due to disagreements about the pipeline’s ownership.
Many are worried that the interruption could be the beginning of further energy supply problems.
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Expectations that US inventories rose even higher last week helped keep a ceiling above prices as most are expecting to see US stocks hit record breaking highs for the second consecutive week.
The inventory data is expected to show that crude oil stocks increased by 1.5 million barrels in the week that ended on May 2. If expectations are met, it would put US inventories at their highest level since records began for the second week in a row.
The American Petroleum Institute is set to release its inventory report later in the day on Tuesday, while the more closely watched report from the US Energy Information Administration is expected to release its weekly inventory report on Wednesday.
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