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Oil fell on Thursday, pressured by volatility in Ukraine that curbed risk appetite.
TOKYO, Feb 27- U.S. crude oil dipped early on Thursday after rising the previous day when the contract was supported by a surprisingly small build in crude inventories. *U.S. crude futures for April delivery were down 28 cents at $102.31 a barrel by 0000 GMT, after finishing 76 cents higher on Wednesday.
The State Department's inspector general said the department had acted properly in choosing a contractor to review the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
NEW YORK, Feb 26- Losses in natural gas dominated the action in commodities for a third straight session on Wednesday, unraveling annual gains racked up earlier by the heating fuel, while gold, silver and wheat prices also showed significant declines. "It has been a money game," said Steve Platt, an analyst at Archer Financial in Chicago.
A surge in natural gas prices is playing out in consumers' utility bills this winter.
CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets. Crude edged higher today after the weekly inventory report showed a smaller build than expected. Nat gas dipped again on the day, as temperatures have been more moderate than expected. Gold was down about $13 on the day.
NEW YORK, Feb 26- U.S. oil rose more than $1 per barrel on Wednesday after government data showed a surprisingly small build in crude oil inventories and another large draw from the American benchmark's delivery point.
*Extra shipments head to Syria, South Korea. LONDON, Feb 26- Iran's oil exports have risen further in February for a fourth consecutive month, according to sources who track tanker movements, adding to signs that the easing of sanctions pressure on Tehran is helping its oil exports to recover.
CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis reports crude oil inventories rise 68,000 barrels and gas inventories decline 2.8 million barrels.
*U.S. crude discount to Brent narrows to less than $7/ bbl. Investors are awaiting data from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday to get a clearer picture. Brent crude had slipped 5 cents to $109.46 a barrel by 1418 GMT.
*Crude stocks at Cushing decline by 1.1 mln barrels-API. LONDON, Feb 26- Brent oil held above $109 a barrel on Wednesday after a steep fall in stockpiles at the Cushing delivery point for U.S. crude, with prices constrained by weak economic data in the world's top oil consumer.
Spanish oil major Repsol said on Tuesday its board of directors approved a $5 billion settlement with the government of Argentina.
*Crude stocks at Cushing fall by 1.1 mln barrels- API. But prices, particularly of the European benchmark, may draw support from prolonged unrest in North African exporter Libya. Brent crude had slipped 17 cents to $109.34 a barrel by 0516 GMT, extending losses after settling $1.13 lower.
*Crude stocks at Cushing fall by 1.1 mln barrels- API. But prices, particularly of the European benchmark, may draw support from prolonged unrest in North African exporter Libya. Brent crude had slipped 1 cent to $109.50 a barrel by 0307 GMT, after settling $1.13 lower.
U.S. crude rallied after data showed the fourth consecutive weekly drop in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub.
TOKYO, Feb 26- U.S. crude oil edged up early on Wednesday after falling the previous day when industry data showed a build up in U.S. crude stockpiles and renewed economic worries in China. *U.S. crude futures for April delivery rose 22 cents to $102.05 a barrel by 0020 GMT, after finishing 99 cents lower on Tuesday.
"It's hard to call a top, but the second quarter ought to be pretty weak compared to the first quarter," one expert said.
Persistent production outages in Libya and South Sudan capped losses in Brent while U.S. oil was pressured by sinking gasoline futures prices in the face of lessening demand for the fuel. U.S. weekly crude stocks rose by a less-than-expected 822,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 21, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute released Tuesday.
CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis discusses the day's activity in the commodities markets. Oil was down on the day, as investors worry about growth in China and the U.S. Nat gas was down on the day, as well. And gold closed at $1,342.70.
CNBC's Seema Mody reports the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued an emergency order for oil-by-rail shipments.