Oil Drops Back On Hopes For An Easing Of Ukraine Tension


NEW YORK, June 4 (Reuters) - Brent and U.S. crude ended lower on Wednesday as hopes that a peace plan from Ukraine's president-elect might help ease the crisis with Russian separatists cooled oil's earlier rally.

Rising U.S. distillate stockpiles and weak distillate profit margins in Northwest Europe also helped trigger the reversal by crude futures.

Brent crude for July delivery fell 42 cents to settle at $108.40 a barrel. Brent settled back above the 100-day moving average of $100.32, but fell as low as $108.25 in post-settlement trading.

U.S. July crude dipped 2 cents to settle at $102.64, after rising as high as $103.69 immediately after the release of U.S. oil inventory data that showed crude oil stocks fell last week.

"There was short-covering ahead of the data, but some selling afterward, and the Ukraine news also helped trigger some selling," said Bill Baruch, senior market strategist at iitrader.com LLC in Chicago.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. crude stocks fell by 3.4 million barrels last week as imports dropped, a bigger slide than the expected 300,000-barrel draw and also bigger than the inventory drop that was reported by an industry group on Tuesday.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point of the U.S. crude oil contract, also fell, declining 321,000 barrels.


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