Crude oil price sinks as Ukraine tensions wane
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil fell almost 2 percent Wednesday as tensions in the Ukraine continued to ebb and the U.S. government reported higher supplies of domestic oil.
Crude oil for April delivery dropped $1.88, or 1.8 percent, to close at $101.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Other energy futures also fell.
Diplomats from Russia and western nations worked to find a resolution to the crisis in Ukraine. Oil prices had fluctuated sharply in recent days as investors feared Russian exports could be affected by sanctions or that shipments from the Black Sea region could be disrupted.
The Energy Department said supplies of oil rose by 1.4 million barrels last week. Also, demand for both gasoline and distillate fuels, which include diesel and heating oil, fell over the past four weeks compared with a year ago.
In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline lost 5 cents to $2.94 per gallon, heating oil fell 5 cents to $2.99 per gallon and natural gas retreated 14 cents to $4.52 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Agricultural futures fell slightly.
Corn for May delivery fell 2 cents to $4.82 a bushel. Wheat for the same month fell a penny to $6.43 a bushel. Soybeans for May fell 3 cents to $14.21 a bushel.
Gold edged higher. Silver also rose, but copper futures fell.
The actively traded April contract for gold rose $2.40 to $1,340.30 an ounce.
May silver rose 5 cents to $21.27 an ounce. Platinum for April delivery gained $12.50 to $1,476.60 an ounce. Palladium for June rose $9.05 to $772.85 an ounce.
Copper edged down a penny to $3.20 per pound.