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Crude spikes to near $100, tracking stock rally

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U.S. crude oil futures ended nearly $2 higher on Tuesday, as strong gains in equities outweighed forecasts for another build in domestic supplies, while Brent was bolstered by continuing tensions in Ukraine.

Markets were reassured by comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would not seize other regions of Ukraine outside Crimea, though news of a shooting at a military facility on the outskirts of the Crimean capital showed the Ukraine crisis was still volatile.

U.S. equities showed strong gains with the S&P 500 moving within 1 percent of record levels and the NASDAQ extending gains of 1 percent.

Traders awaited weekly inventory data out on Wednesday that was expected to show domestic crude inventories rose last week by more than 2 million barrels at a time of low seasonal demand.

"Equity markets are up rather high and people are going in for a day trade," said Tariq Zahir, analyst at Tyche Capital Advisors in New York. "We think this rally will be short lived with inventory numbers coming out tomorrow."

U.S. crude rose by $1.62 to end at $99.70 per barrel. The contract has partly reversed a steady decline since touching a 5-month high of $105.22 on March 3, when worries of war on Ukraine peaked.

Brent crude rose 50 cents to near $107 per barrel, after hitting a six-week low on Monday.

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