NYMEX crude oil prices gain slightly in early Asia trad

Crude oil prices ticked up slightly in Asia on Monday with markets in New Zealand and Australia shut for holidays.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures for delivery in June traded at $103.40 a barrel, up 0.02%. Trading on the NYMEX was closed for Good Friday.

Last week, U.S. crude oil futures settled near six-week highs as concerns over the crisis in Ukraine continued to underpin prices and upbeat U.S. data on manufacturing and employment pointed to underlying strength in the economy.

The Labor Department reported the number of people filing for unemployment benefits edged up to 304,000, below analysts’ forecasts and not far from the six-and-a-half year low of 300,000 touched the previous week.

A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region strengthened more than forecast in April.

Crude prices were also supported as heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine fanned fears over possible supply disruptions from Russia, the world largest energy exporter.

The May Brent oil contract ended Thursday’s session $109.69 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and ended the week with gains of 0.73%.

Also markets in the U.K. and the euro zone are to remain closed for Easter Monday.