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Oil prices up on optimistic US growth data

SINGAPORE--Oil prices rose in Asia Friday supported by renewed Russia-Ukraine tensions and upbeat U.S. economic data, analysts said.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery was up 27 cents at US$94.82 while Brent crude for October advanced 33 cents to US$102.79 in afternoon trade.

Ukraine and the West said Thursday that Russian troops are actively involved supporting pro-Kremlin separatists who have been fighting against Kiev's rule since April.

NATO said at least 1,000 Russian troops were on the ground in east Ukraine but Moscow insisted none of its soldiers were in the country.

The United States warned it was considering new sanctions against Russia over the latest development.

Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said fresh sanctions “may then trigger further retaliatory measures that would weigh on the euro bloc”.

The intensified standoff between the neighbors, seen as the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War, has sparked fears of a full-fledged war.

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