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NYMEX-U.S. oil rises further as Ukraine tensions support prices

TOKYO, April 14 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures rose above $104 a barrel in early trade on Monday as increasing geopolitical tensions between Ukraine and Russia supported buying sentiment for the front month contract.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for May delivery was up 30 cents at $104.04 per barrel by 0000 GMT, after finishing 34 cents higher on Friday.

* Ukraine has given pro-Russian separatists a Monday morning deadline to disarm or face a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" by its armed forces, raising the risk of a military confrontation with Moscow.

* Iran on Saturday rejected a U.S. decision to deny a visa for its newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations, pledging to take up the case directly with the world body in a dispute that has reopened old wounds dating to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

* Iran's crude oil exports have surged to their highest in 20 months, far exceeding a 1 million barrel-per-day limit set by the West under an interim deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program, according to the International Energy Agency.

MARKETS NEWS

* The safe-haven yen started the week on a firm footing and Asian shares braced for more losses on Monday after a dismal week on Wall Street.

* The euro got off to a shaky start on Monday after the European Central Bank fired another warning shot at bullish investors, saying it will be forced to ease monetary policy further if the currency keeps going up.

* U.S. stocks slid in a volatile session on Friday, with the Nasdaq closing below the 4,000 mark for the first time since early February.

DATA/EVENTS

* The following data is expected on Monday: (Time in GMT)

0900 Euro zone Industrial production Feb

1230 U.S. Retail sales March

1400 U.S. Business inventories Feb

(Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Richard Pullin)