Oil edges upwards

Oil price17 March 2014, News Wires – Brent futures edged higher on Monday to hold above $108 per barrel as the deepening crisis in Ukraine led to supply disruption worries.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate gained amid the escalating wrangle that could see Washington and Europe impose punitive measures against selected Russian targets as early as Monday, Reuters reported.

This followed the US rejection of Sunday’s pro-secession vote in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Oil was also supported by the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) raising of its global oil consumption forecast for 2014.

Brent crude edged up $0.10 to $108.31 by Monday morning, while US crude futures were up $0.24 to $99.13, Reuters reported.

“Both are being given good support on higher risk due to escalating tensions with Russia,” Singapore’s Phillip Futures investment analyst Tan Chee Tat told Reuters.

Several other nations also said they did not recognise the vote.

“With the overwhelming pro-Russian vote in the region clashing with the West’s assertions that the referendum is not valid, expect further geopolitical risk-related support this week,” said ANZ Research in a commodities daily report on Monday.

The IEA increased its forecast for 2014 global demand growth to 92.7 million barrels per day in a report released on Friday thanks in large part to an improving global economy.

Investors will also be eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting which starts on Tuesday.

Policymakers are likely to support the Fed’s earlier decision to cut bond buying by $10 billion per month.


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