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Crude prices ease in Asia on profit taking

Traders booked profits after strong gains on positive US economic data and the tensions in Ukraine

AFP/PTI  |  Singapore 

eased in Asian trade today as traders booked profits after strong gains last week on positive and the tensions in

New York's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery eased 24 cents to $101.43 a barrel in late-morning trade and Brent North Sea crude for May dipped 22 cents to $107.85.

Tan Chee Tat, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP: "We are seeing some easing because of some profit taking."

got a boost last week from data showing robust consumer spending.

Orders for durable goods -- a key indicator of the economy -- rose 2.2% in February from the prior month, beating expectations for a 1.0-per cent decline.

Investors are also tracking events in Europe as the top diplomats from the US and Russia held talks to find a solution to the crisis in

Russian troops are massed on the borders of eastern Ukraine, sparking fears about Moscow's plans after it took control of the Crimean peninsula this month.

While the two failed yesterday to reach a breakthrough deal in Paris they did agree to keep talking after what were described as "frank" and "constructive" negotiations.

The latest bid to resolve the worst East-West standoff in the post-Cold War era came after Russian leader Vladimir Putin unexpectedly called US President Barack Obama yesterday.

Russia provides about a quarter of Europe's natural gas supplies, with about 80% of those exports travelling through pipelines in Ukraine, analysts say.

Traders fear that an escalation of the crisis would disrupt those supplies.

First Published: Mon, March 31 2014. 09:16 IST