Brent On The Rise As Tension Escalates In Ukraine
Brent crude oil made its way above $108 on Monday, trading at $108.21 at 7:30 GMT.
The commodity is being buoyed by worries that the escalating tension will eventually cause a supply disruption since much of Russia’s energy resources are delivered via Ukraine.
Brent began the week by gaining 34 cents as news from Ukraine suggested that the nation approached the brink of a civil war over the weekend. Pro-Russian separatists won a landslide vote for succession in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, indicating that the nation’s conflict is falling out of the government’s control.
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Markets are waiting to see what the next steps will be as tension between the West and Russia is also playing a major role in the problems. CNBC reported that the European Union has declared the succession vote illegal, and may impose stronger sanctions on Russia.
The world will be watching for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response to the vote, as he called for rebels to postpone it just last week. Many believe that Putin’s remarks were purely for show, and that he will repeat his actions in Crimea by annexing eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, EU finance ministers will meet to discuss whether or not to add more people and companies to the list of those being sanctioned. So far, the sanctions have been aimed at individuals and businesses tied to Putin and have included penalties like asset freezes and visa bans.
Also on investors’ minds this week will be talks between world powers and Iran, where the two sides will try to reach a permanent agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program. If an agreement is reached, Brent prices would be under pressure as it would put an end to the sanctions keeping Iranian oil from the markets.
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