Investing.com - Crude oil prices gained marginally in Asia on Wednesday on continued demand-led support, though easing tensions between Russia and the Ukraine capped gains along with higher stocks in the United States.
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, said overnight that crude stocks increased 1.2 million barrels nationally last week, though they declined 2.6 million barrels at the delivery point for the benchmark U.S. contract in Cushing, Oklahoma.
The U.S. Department of Energy will provide its own estimate of crude stocks later Wednesday.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April traded at US$103.38 a barrel, or up 0.04%, after hitting an overnight session low of $102.89 a barrel and a high of $104.95 a barrel.
The global Brent contract overnight fell $1.90, or 1.7%, to $109.30 on the ICE Futures Exchange.
Russian President Putin said Moscow reserved the right to use force in Ukraine’s Crimea region in the event of “lawlessness” but added that such a move would be a last resort.
Prices also dipped after the Russian defense minister ordered troops engaged in military exercises near Ukraine’s borders to return to their bases.
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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