- Crude prices eased in Asia on Tuesday, but remain supported by tensions in the Crimea peninsula where neighboring Russia has sent troops.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at 104.82 a barrel, down 0.10%, after hitting an overnight session low of $103.36 a barrel and a high of $105.22 a barrel. Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange rose $2.13, or 2%, to $111.20 a barrel.

Russia, the world''s biggest oil producer, sent troops into Crimea, a peninsula in Ukraine. The move stoked fears that there could be a disruption in supply in both crude and refined oil products.

Also supporting crude, the Commerce Department on Monday reported that personal spending rose 0.4% in January, above expectations for an increase of 0.1%. Personal spending for December was revised down to a 0.1% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.4%.

The report added that personal income rose 0.3%, beating expectations for a 0.2% increase, after a flat reading in December.

Meanwhile, the core PCE price index, which is stripped of food and energy items, inched up by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in January, in line with expectations, after rising 0.1% in December.

The core PCE price index rose at an annualized rate of 1.2%, above forecasts for a 1.1% increase, after rising at a rate of 1.1% in December.

Consumer spending is the single biggest source of U.S. economic growth, accounting for as much as two-thirds of economic activity.

Oil also saw support after the Institute for Supply Management revealed that its manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.2 last month from 51.3 in January, beating forecasts for a reading of 52.0.

The report attributed the rise to an increase in new orders after rough winter weather disrupted commerce at the start of the year.

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