Oil advanced for a second day as the US and Europe prepared to impose a fresh wave of sanctions on Russia for alleged atrocities committed by its forces against civilians in Ukraine.
West Texas Intermediate pushed to nearly $US105 a barrel in early Asian trading after closing 4 per cent higher on Monday, the biggest gain in two weeks. Washington will announce additional measures this week, according to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who said these might include further curbs on energy.
Oil rallied to its highest level since 2008 in the first quarter as Russia’s invasion disrupted supplies in an already tight market faced with roaring demand and dwindling stockpiles.
The US and UK have already moved to bar Russian oil and there’s gathering momentum for some form of similar action from the European Union, although its dependence on flows is higher.
The possibility of new sanctions is offsetting the impact in the global crude market of a vast release by the US from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserves in a bid to tame prices, ease the burden on consumers, and peg back inflation.