Investing.com - Crude oil prices eased in Asia on Thursday on U.S. supply gains and waning fears of a Russian invasion into Ukraine that could threaten global supply.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at 101.11 a barrel, down 0.34%, from an ovenight session low of $101.31 a barrel and a high of $103.53 a barrel.
Brent crude for April delivery on the ICE exchange ended down $1.54, or 1.4%, at $107.76 a barrel overnight, its lowest level since Feb. 6.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 28, surpassing expectations for an increase of 1.3 million barrels, which sent prices falling on concerns the country is awash in crude.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 363.8 million barrels as of last week.
The report also showed that total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 1.6 million barrels, compared to forecasts for a drop of 1.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased by 1.4 million barrels, confounding expectations for a withdrawal of 1.2 million barrels.
Soft U.S. service-sector data weakened oil prices as well.
Meanwhile, the Institute of Supply Management said its services purchasing managers'' index fell to a 43-month low of 51.6 last month from 54.0 in January. Analysts had expected the index to tick down to 53.5 in February.
The employment index fell sharply in February, contracting for the first time after 25 consecutive months of growth.
The report came after ADP nonfarm payrolls data showed that the U.S. private sector added 139,000 jobs in February, below expectations for an increase of 160,000. January''s figure was revised sharply down to 127,000 from the previously reported 175,000.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, fears of a Russian-led military conflict continued to abate.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier that there was "no need yet" for Russia to exercise its authority, reiterating that any force used would be a last resort.
Russia is the world''s second-largest crude oil exporter, and sanctions slapped on the country from the West over Ukraine could have disrupted supply.
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