Oil Futures Range-Bound In Low Volumes, Eyes On Ukraine
NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil strengthened slightly while U.S. crude futures were briefly supported by positive economic data on Monday but prices were range-bound in low volumes following Easter Sunday with no significant escalation in tensions over Ukraine.
Gasoline futures led the U.S. oil complex with traders and analysts citing a report of an upcoming refinery shutdown on the Gulf Coast as supporting the contract.
But volumes were low in all markets as traders kept to the sidelines after the Easter holiday weekend with the London market remaining closed for Easter Monday.
U.S. crude futures jumped 30 cents a barrel after the Conference Board said its leading economic indicators, a gauge of future economic activity, rose in March.
But they gradually backed off the gains throughout the day, settling 7 cents higher at $104.37 a barrel. Brent crude settled 42 cents higher at $109.95 a barrel, having briefly flirted with $110 a barrel.
"My feeling is that we're still concerned about Ukraine and we're still getting a little support from the economy ... But we're not up by much and volumes are still light because people are out for the holidays," said Phil Flynn, analyst with Price Futures Group.
The May contract for U.S. crude oil futures will expire at the end of Tuesday but analysts said they did not expect volatility stemming from a switch to the June contract.
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