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Oil slips on easing Ukraine tensions, strong dollar

Oil slips on easing Ukraine tensions, strong dollar/AFP

Oil slips on easing Ukraine tensions, strong dollar/AFP

LONDON, March 20- Global oil prices dipped Thursday, hit by easing geopolitical tensions over Ukraine, and also by the strong dollar after the US Federal Reserve hinted at hiking interest rates soon.

Brent North Sea crude for May sank to $105.60 in early morning trade, touching the lowest level since February.

It later stood at $105.73, down 12 cents from Wednesday’s closing level.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April delivery, dipped 29 cents to $100.08 a barrel.

“The tension on the oil market is easing noticeably, causing Brent to fall to its lowest level since early February this morning,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

“The waning concerns about the Crimean crisis, the economic weakness in the emerging economies, the stronger US dollar and the previous excessive speculation are all taking their toll.”

The US Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would cut a further $10 billion (7.26 billion euros) from its monthly stimulus programme, as widely predicted.

However, Fed chief Janet Yellen also hinted that the US central bank could raise interest rates earlier than expected, sending the dollar higher.

The stronger greenback makes dollar priced crude more expensive for buyers using weaker currencies, dampening demand.

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