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NYMEX-US crude eases but above $102 on gasoline draw, Ukraine

SEOUL, April 9 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures slipped in early Asian trade on Wednesday after jumping more than 2 percent in the previous session, but prices remained underpinned by a U.S. stock draw for gasoline and tensions over Ukraine.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude edged down 24 cents at $102.32 a barrel as of 0020 GMT after settling $2.12 higher at $102.56 a barrel on Tuesday.

Brent slipped 5 cents at $107.62 a barrel after it ended $1.85 higher at $107.67 a barrel on the previous session.

* U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected last week while gasoline inventories decreased and distillate stocks increased, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API)showed on Tuesday.

Crude inventories rose by 7.1 million barrels in the week to April 4, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.3 million barrels. Gasoline stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 700,000-barrel decline.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA), will release its data on Wednesday at 1430 GMT.

* Renewed geopolitical tension over Ukraine lent some support for the oil prices as investors are concerned of a possible oil supply disruption from Russia, one of the world's top oil exporters.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russian agents and special forces on Tuesday of stirring separatist unrest in eastern Ukraine, saying Moscow could be trying to prepare for military action as it had in Crimea.

Armed pro-Moscow protesters were still occupying Ukrainian government buildings in two cities in the largely Russian-speaking east on Tuesday, although police ended a third occupation in a lightning night-time operation.

MARKETS NEWS

* The dollar and euro fell sharply against the yen on Tuesday as hopes for additional stimulus out of Japan faded, while bargain-hunting on Wall Street lifted stock prices after three days of losses. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, was off 0.60 percent and near lows last seen on March 19.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Wednesday:

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany Exports Feb

0600 Germany Imports Feb

1400 U.S. Wholesale sales Feb

1800 Federal Reserve releases minutes for March meeting

(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Ed Davies)