Crude oil tops $100 as Russian forces invade Ukraine; Gold prices rise sharply

Global crude oil and gold prices soared on February 24 after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military action in Eastern Ukraine but iterated that he does not plan to occupy Ukraine.

Russia’s action comes days after the country recognized the independence of two separatist regions in Easter Ukraine following a speech by Putin.

Oil prices, which have been on the boil in recent weeks over the Ukraine-Russia war, soared past the $100 per barrel in Brent futures for the first time since 2014 as traders feared further sanctions that could hit Russia’s crude oil export.

Global oil prices have jumped over 30 percent since November on a sharp increase in demand due to the reopening of global economies as COVID-19 pandemic subsided on higher vaccination rates.

However, global supply has failed to keep up with demand leading to a tight market in crude oil that led analysts to predict $100 per barrel crude oil later this year. Those predictions came to fruition sooner on fears Russia’s invasion could lead to sanctions on its oil industry that could further curtail supply in the market, analysts said.

Gold prices also rose sharply in early trade as investors sought safe haven assets amid an increase in risk aversion due to Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.


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