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NYMEX-U.S. oil hovers above $104, Ukraine conflict supports

SINGAPORE, April 22 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures steadied above $104 a barrel on Tuesday, with investors keeping a close eye on Ukraine where a deal to peacefully resolve tensions with Russia appeared to be faltering.

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. crude for May delivery was down 11 cents at $104.26 a barrel by 0032 GMT after ending nearly flat on Monday.

* Brent oil also slipped 11 cents to $109.84 per barrel, not too far below a six-week high of $110.36 reached last week.

* U.S. and European officials say they will hold Russia responsible and impose new economic sanctions if pro-Moscow separatists do not clear out of government buildings they have occupied across eastern Ukraine over the past two weeks.

* U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will announce a package of technical assistance focused on energy and economic aid distribution during a two-day visit to Ukraine that began on Monday.

* The United States has indications that a toxic chemical, probably chlorine, was used in Syria this month and is examining whether the Syrian government was responsible, the U.S. State Department said.

* Six years after applying to build the Keystone XL pipeline, Canada's frustrated oil industry appears steadfast in its support of the plan even though Washington has again delayed a decision on whether to approve the politically charged project.

* China's crude oil imports from Iran rose more than a third in March from a year earlier, keeping imports in the first three months of 2014 close to the levels seen before Western sanctions were applied more than two years ago.

* India's fuel sales increased at their slowest pace in more than a decade in the year to March, reflecting the sluggish growth of its economy and manufacturing activity.

MARKETS NEWS

* The dollar held at two-week highs against a basket of major currencies after a subdued session on Monday, when many global financial centres were shut for the Easter long-weekend holiday.

* Asian shares were supported after Wall Street stocks extended gains into a fifth day, though investors continued to see the tensions in Ukraine as a threat to risk appetite.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1300 U.S. Monthly home price index Feb

1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence April

1400 U.S. Existing home sales March

1400 U.S. Richmond Fed composite index April

(Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Joseph Radford)