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Oil stays above US$104 per barrel amid jitters over Ukraine tensions

BEIJING--The price of oil edged down Monday but stayed above US$104 per barrel as investors watched simmering tensions in Ukraine.

U.S. crude for May delivery was down 12 cents at US$104.18 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after trading resumed following a three-day holiday weekend. The contract rose 44 cents to US$104.30 in the previous session.

Brent crude, an international benchmark for oil, was down 38 cents at US$109.15 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.0014 cents to US$3.00830 a gallon.

— Natural gas was up 0.8 cents at US$4.749 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil was flat at US$2.99 a gallon.

Markets are on edge at the possibility of European or U.S. sanctions that might disrupt Russian supplies. Tensions were fueled by an Easter morning shooting at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian insurgents.

Upward pressure on prices was offset last week by a U.S. Energy Department report that showed an increase of 10 million barrels of crude oil supplies, the largest in 13 years.

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