TOKYO, May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. crude futures held above $104 a barrel on Tuesday, following market holidays the previous day, as geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and uncertainty over OPEC producer’s Libya production continued.
* U.S. crude futures for July delivery fell 7 cents to $104.28 a barrel by 0023 GMT, after finishing on Friday at its highest since April 21.
Market activity was limited with the U.S. and UK markets closed for holidays on Monday.
* Ukraine launched air strikes and a paratrooper assault against pro-Russian rebels who seized an airport on Monday, as its newly elected leader rejected any talks with “terrorists” and said a robust military campaign in the east should be able to put down a separatist revolt in “a matter of hours”.
* Sunday’s election in Ukraine, deemed a success by the European Union, is likely to ease pressure for far-reaching sanctions against Russia as Europe worries about how punitive steps might hurt its own economy.
* Europe’s Energy Commissioner said on Monday Ukraine and Russia had made further progress in a dispute over gas prices and his proposal that Ukraine to pay $2 billion of back debt by Thursday could pave the way for further talks on Friday.
* The leader of the protesters occupying Libyan oil ports said on Monday he did not recognise Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq’s new government and suggested a previously agreed deal to end his blockade could be in jeopardy.
* If Canadian crude cannot be transported to the United States because of delays in building pipelines, it will go by rail, Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said on Monday.
* Industry representatives said on Monday they expected Brazil’s government to announce on Wednesday an increase in the minimum amount of biodiesel that must be blended into diesel.
* The euro struggled to gain any momentum early in Asia on Tuesday after drifting off a three-month low against the dollar with public holidays in the United States and Britain all but ensuring an anaemic session overnight.
* The following data is expected on Tuesday: (Time in GMT)
0645 France Consumer confidence May
0800 Italy Consumer confidence May
1230 U.S. Durable goods orders April
1300 U.S. Monthly home price index March
1300 U.S. S&P/Case-Shiller home prices March
1400 U.S. Consumer confidence May
1400 U.S. Richmond Fed composite index May
1430 U.S. Dallas Fed manufacturing index May (Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Ed Davies)