Crude oil futures closed higher on Monday (Jan. 31), buoyed by fears that global oil markets are facing a shortage due to international political conflicts.
- WTI crude futures were up $1.33, or 1.5%, at $88.15 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were up $1.18, or 1.3%, at $91.21 a barrel.
Oil prices have risen sharply so far this year as political risk factors may affect oil supply. Demand for oil has rebounded strongly now that concerns about the impact of COVID-19 have subsided.
On Monday, Washington and London issued further warnings to Russia. The major Western powers are ready to sanction Russian elites with asset freezes and travel bans. Russia’s elites are said to be close to Russia’s President Putin.
The British delegation recommended that Russia “step back from the brink” and distance itself from Ukraine.
In addition, Yemen’s Houthi rebels fired cross-border rockets at the United Arab Emirates at midnight last Sunday, their third attack in less than two weeks, fueling concerns about oil supplies.
The United Arab Emirates is one of the key allies of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. The Houthi rebels, in turn, are said to be close to Saudi Arabia’s rival, the Iranian government.
Investors are waiting for the weekly report on U.S. oil inventories, which will be published by the EIA on Wednesday. Tomorrow (February 2), the OPEC+ meeting will take place.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2022