Brent crude oil steadies under $110 after 6-week high
Brent crude steadied under $110 a barrel yesterday, after hitting a sixweek high in the previous session, as traders assessed the risk that rising tensions in Ukraine could disrupt supplies from Russia.
With Russian troops massing on the border with Ukraine and three separatists killed overnight in eastern Ukraine, the prospects of defusing the crisis at talks in Geneva appeared slim.
While the United States and European Union have stopped short of imposing sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas exports, tensions with between them and the world’s second-largest crude exporter have energy markets on edge.
“Oil prices remain supported by the Ukrainian risk premium ahead of the long Easter weekend,” said Abhishek Deshpande, a commodities analyst at Natixis in London. “While the talks in Geneva may be weighing on prices slightly, with clashes continuing in Ukraine as we speak, the chance of a resolution being found today is not very high.” U.S. oil for delivery in May rose 15 cents to $103.91 a barrel. The contract had also touched a six-week high of $104.99 in the previous session.
Data showed U.S. industrial production rose at a faster-thanexpected clip in March, the latest sign that the economy of the world’s largest oil consumer is gaining momentum.