Oil little changed ahead of US data, holiday
May 23, 2014
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The Associated Press
Oil prices were little changed Friday ahead of U.S. home sales data and the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery was up 3 cents to $103.71 a barrel at 0800 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 33 cents to close Thursday at $103.74.
Traders are waiting for a U.S. Commerce Department report on sales of new homes in April, expected later Friday, which may show a healthy American economy. That could help lift energy prices.
Oil reached a one-month high Wednesday of $104.07 a barrel after a U.S. Energy Information Administration report showed that U.S. crude supplies dropped a bigger-than-expected 7.2 million barrels in the week ended May 16.
Tensions are continuing in the Ukraine, where on Thursday the deadliest raid yet on Ukrainian troops by pro-Russia insurgents killed 16 soldiers. The possibility of greater Western sanctions against Russia for its role in the crisis has underpinned oil prices.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, added 2 cents to $110.35 on the ICE exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading in New York.
— Wholesale gasoline was little changed at $2.989 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 1.6 cents to $4.375 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil inched up 0.2 cent to $2.952 a gallon.