Investing.com - Crude price were slightly weaker in Asian trade on Tuesday as relatively tame sanctions from the West on Russia, the world''s top oil producer, over the annexation of the Crimean region of the Ukraine allayed concerns of any abrupt cutoff in supplies.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May traded at $97.56 a barrel, down 0.07%, after hitting an overnight session low of $97.01 a barrel and a high of $98.91 a barrel.
Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange fell $1.97, or 1.8%, to $106.24 a barrel on Monday, its lowest settlement price since Feb. 4.
Investors continued to monitor events in Europe, after over 90% of Crimean voters on Sunday chose to break with Ukraine and join Russia. Crimea''s Parliament on Monday formally asked to join the Russian Federation.
Sanctions followed as expected.
European Union foreign ministers imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the push to have Crimea secede from Ukraine to be annexed by Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama also imposed sanctions on several Russian officials involved in the incursion of Crimea, which included freezing assets in the U.S.
Still, markets were expecting more widespread action from the West, and the response enticed investors away from oil by allaying fears the conflict could escalate and threaten energy supply from Russia.
Investors took hit-or-miss U.S. economic indicators in stride.
Data revealed earlier that U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in February, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain. Industrial production in January was revised to a 0.2% fall from a previously estimated 0.3% decline.
In a separate report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State manufacturing index ticked up to 5.6 this month from 4.5 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 6.0.
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