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Crude-oil futures eased in Asian trading hours Thursday after settling higher for three consecutive sessions, but remained near a three-week high as markets assessed yesterday’s U.S. oil stockpile data. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in June traded at $102.06 a barrel at 0548 GMT, down $0.31 in the Globex electronic session. June Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.14 to $110.05 a barrel.

The highlight of the week has been a surprise move in U.S. oil inventories, which rose while markets expected them to be flat, and gasoline and diesel stocks, which fell while markets expected an increase. This may add some volatility to oil prices, Societe Generale said in a note.

It said oil stocks at the delivery hub of Cushing, Okla.–which have dropped for 14 of the past 15 weeks and are now at their lowest since December 2008–remain a big concern.

On tap today is the International Energy Agency’s monthly oil market report and investors will be looking for any change in oil demand or supply forecasts.

Citi Futures said today’s market is also likely to focus on Libyan crude-oil production “with particular interest in whether the 340,000 barrels a day El Sharara oilfield is restarted as planned.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s government on Wednesday launched a national dialogue of politicians and civic groups aimed at keeping the country together, but the meeting didn’t include separatist groups.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for June–the benchmark gasoline contract–rose 36 points to $2.9729 a gallon, while June heating oil traded at $2.9616, 10 points lower.

ICE gasoil for June changed hands at $914.75 a metric ton, down $0.50 from Wednesday’s settlement.

By Eric Yep