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Crude prices edge higher in Asia

SINGAPORE - Oil prices rose in Asian trade Tuesday after the West slapped fresh sanctions on Russia over its role in Ukraine, although gains were capped as the measures were seen as less aggressive than expected.

New York’s West Texas Intermediate for June delivery climbed 15 cents to $100.99 in afternoon trade while Brent North Sea crude rose 23 cents to $108.35 for its June contract.

The White House imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 firms close to President Vladimir Putin and the European Union said it was adding 15 names to its own list.

But Desmond Chua, an analyst at CMC markets in Singapore, said they were "less aggressive than most would have thought".

The situation in Ukraine, a major conduit for Russian natural gas exports to Western Europe, is being monitored closely by investors who are concerned that a full-scale armed conflict would disrupt supplies and send energy prices soaring.


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