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Crude futures turned lower in Friday trading, as investors took some profits from the previous day's gains even as tensions between Russia and the West remained high, traders said.
Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic surged about 2 percent on Thursday, recovering from a weeks-long decline, on news of the crash that came a day after the United States slapped sanctions on Russia's biggest firms for the first time after Moscow's failure to curb violence in Ukraine.
Brent futures fell 70 cents to near $107 a barrel after rising 72 cents in the previous session. U.S. crude fell 6 cents to close at $103.13, after closing $1.99 higher. Both benchmarks were on track for the first weekly gain in four weeks.
Brent and U.S. crude were also supported by data from the United States and China earlier in the week that indicated an improving demand outlook in the world's top two oil consumers. While data from China showed a slightly stronger-than-expected second-quarter growth of 7.5 percent and higher oil demand, a report from the United States showed a larger-than-expected draw in crude stocks of 7.5 million barrels last week.
Investors are now keeping an eye on the Ukraine situation and Libya for further trading cues.
In Libya, a protest by oil security guards continued at Brega port, halting oil production at state-run Sirte Oil Co. The country is producing around 555,000 barrels a day of oil, a spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp said on Thursday. Libya has asked the U.N. Security Council for help to protect its oil installations, oil export ports and civil airports, warning that without more international assistance the North African oil producer could become a failed state.
--By Reuters. For more information on commodities, please click here.