Zürcher Nachrichten - Oil extends rally as EU considers more Russia sanctions

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Oil extends rally as EU considers more Russia sanctions
Oil extends rally as EU considers more Russia sanctions

Oil extends rally as EU considers more Russia sanctions

Oil prices jumped further Tuesday as the European Union considered further sanctions against major crude producer Russia in response to killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha that have prompted international condemnation.

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Elsewhere, European and Asian stock markets diverged and the dollar dipped versus major rivals.

Oil rising again "is bad news for corporates looking to manage cost pressures, and for consumers already struggling to stomach higher energy bills", noted Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

While countries in Europe -- particularly Germany -- rely heavily on energy from Russia, the possibility of an oil embargo sent both main crude contracts sharply higher Monday.

Brent North Sea and WTI oil continued their rise on Tuesday, each putting on more than 1.5 percent.

That pared some of the sharp losses seen Friday in reaction to a pledge by Washington and other major economies to unleash millions of barrels from their stockpiles to keep a lid on prices, which are fanning already high inflation.

The EU is considering hitting Russia with sanctions on oil or coal, a top official said Tuesday, after dozens of bodies were found on the streets in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, though some countries remain worried of the potential economic fallout.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blames Russian troops for the killings, but the Kremlin has denied responsibility.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan signalled more US sanctions were on the way this week.

The continued uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, and blow to the global economy it is expected to deal, was unable to prevent another healthy performance Monday on Wall Street.

"Despite all the concerns, equities remain the best bet to achieve returns above today's elevated inflation," said markets strategist Louis Navellier.

Equities trading was tepid in Asia on Tuesday, with Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei closed for holidays.

Tokyo's blue-chip shares ended higher, driven by buying of high-tech shares, though the yen's gyrations weighed on the market.

Traders will be keeping a close eye on the release this week of minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting, hoping for an insight into officials' thinking over future monetary policy.

After the Fed's expected quarter-point interest rate hike last month, there are increasing bets on a half-point lift in May in light of soaring inflation and strong jobs data that suggest the US economy remains robust enough to absorb higher borrowing costs.

- Key figures around 0930 GMT -

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.5 percent at $109.15 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.7 percent at $104.98 per barrel

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,551.11 points

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.3 percent at 14,557.93

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.4 percent at 6,703.88

EURO STOXX 50: FLAT at 3,952.83

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 27,787.98 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: Closed for a holiday

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday

New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 34,921.88 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0983 from $1.0978 late Monday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3138 from $1.3114

Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.59 pence from 83.65 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 122.74 yen from 122.78 yen

F.Schneider--NZN