Oil prices continue slide but remain elevated on Ukraine, Iraq
Oil prices continued their slide Monday but markets remain on edge over conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, and Israel's offensive in Gaza. Last week's events pushed oil prices higher, though the likelihood of direct supply disruption is small.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 32 cents to $102.81 per barrel at 0730 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That added to a 6 cent decline on Friday to $103.13.
Brent crude for September delivery, a benchmark for international oils, gave up 30 cents to $106.94 on the ICE exchange in London.
Washington announced new sanctions last Wednesday on Russia, including its biggest oil company, over Moscow's support for separatist forces in Ukraine.
On Thursday, a Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down in Ukraine, raising concern a possible Western response might disrupt Russian oil exports, but those fears have eased.
Israel's offensive into Gaza intensified turmoil in the Middle East, the world's most important oil-producing region, rattling markets.
In other Nymex trading:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.3 cent to $2.838 a gallon.
— Natural gas fell 7.8 cents to $3.873 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil gained 0.4 cent to $2.862 a gallon.