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Crude oil remains near US$104 a barrel despite huge rise in US stocks

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Oil rose just a penny Wednesday as worries about upheaval in Ukraine offset the dampening effect of a huge increase in U.S. oil supplies. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery closed at US$103.76 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for June delivery, a benchmark for international varieties, closed at US$109.36 in London. The May contract expired Tuesday at US$108.74 a barrel.

Oil prices advance on Ukraine, weak dollar

Global oil prices rallied on Wednesday on Ukraine tensions and the weak dollar, and before weekly crude inventories data in top consumer the United States. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for May delivery, hit $104.82 a barrel -- the highest level since early March. Brent North Sea crude for June rallied to a similar one month peak at $110.20 a barrel.

S. Korea blanketed by fine dust, alert issued

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- A thick layer of fine dust blanketed South Korea on Wednesday, prompting the capital Seoul to issue this year's first warning against the particles and urge people to stay indoors. According to the data by the Korea Meteorological Administration, Seoul's atmospheric concentration levels of "particulate matter (PM)-10" pollutants recorded 227 micrograms per cubic meter as of 1 p.m., reaching the "very bad" level.

Oil prices fall on looming restart of Libyan exports

Crude oil prices fell modestly Tuesday under pressure from signs Libya is about to resume oil exports, while Russia-Ukraine tensions acted to curb selling. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for May delivery, fell 30 cents to close at $103.75 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for May closed on the contract's final day of trade in London at $108.74 a barrel, down 33 cents from Monday. Traders focused on Libya, where a government deal with rebels last week was close to allowing crude oil exports from two terminals for the first time in eight months.

Manufacturing sales regain peak hit before last recession: StatsCan

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose 1.4 per cent to $51.2 billion in February. The agency says that's the highest sales level recorded since July 2008, the peak that was reached before the last recession began. It says the February gain was largely attributable to higher sales in the transportation equipment industry and the petroleum and coal product industry. Transportation equipment sales rose 4.3 per cent to $8.9 billion, while sales in the petroleum and coal product industry increased 2.9 per cent to $7.5 billion.

Chinese gold demand may rise 20% by 2017: industry body

China's annual demand for gold could jump around 20 percent by 2017 as more of its increasingly wealthy population seek new ways to make money, the World Gold Council predicted on Tuesday. The forecast by the WGC comes after China became the world's largest gold-consuming nation in 2013, overtaking India. Annual demand for gold in the form of jewellery, coins and bars is set to hit "at least 1,350 tonnes by 2017", the WGC said in a report on China. That would represent a rise of nearly a fifth from the country's record consumption of 1,132 tonnes last year.

Scotiabank raises outlook for price of nickel following Indonesian export ban

OTTAWA - Scotiabank is raising its outlook for the price nickel following an Indonesian export ban on unprocessed ore that took effect earlier this year. Nickel prices have been rising following the Indonesian ban that was enacted in an attempt to encourage foreign investment in ore processing in the country. "While the export ban was announced more than 4 years ago with an unchanged starting date of January 2014, few market observers, including ourselves, believed that Indonesia would have the resolve to stick with this agenda," Scotiabank said in a report Monday.

S. Korean companies ink US$12 bln clean fuel project in Kuwait

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's leading builders said Monday they sealed a US$12 billion package deal to upgrade and set up the latest oil refinery and petrochemical facilities in Kuwait.

Oil company blamed for toxic tap water in China

A Chinese oil giant was to blame for a toxic leak that contaminated tap water in a northwestern city, leading panicked residents to clear stores of bottled water, state media said Saturday. Tests conducted on Thursday and Friday showed that tap water in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, had as much as 200 micrograms of the toxic chemical benzene per litre -- 20 times the national limit -- the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local environment authorities.

US crude oil rises on prospects for gasoline demand

US crude oil prices closed higher Friday, lifted by market hopes for stronger demand in the United States ahead of the nation's summer holiday driving season. But traders kept a cautious eye on the situation in Libya, where the government's deal with rebels lifting their blockades of oil terminals would allow Libyan oil to return to the market. New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for delivery in May closed at $103.74 a barrel, a gain of 34 cents from Thursday. Brent North Sea crude for May fell 13 cents to settle at $107.33 a barrel in London.
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