Crude oil closed lower on Wednesday (March 16) on signs of progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Markets were also pressured by rising U.S. crude inventories.
- WTI crude futures were down $1.40, or 1.5%, at $95.04 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were down $1.89, or 1.9%, at $98.02 a barrel.
Crude oil futures fell after the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a 4.3 million barrel increase in U.S. crude oil inventories for the week ended March 11.
In addition, crude oil futures fell after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and Ukraine were close to a partial agreement on peace talks now that Ukraine has agreed to talk about neutral status.
Lavrov’s remarks raised hopes that Russia would end the war in Ukraine, the largest war in Europe since World War II.
“Neutral status is now being seriously discussed seriously along, of course, with security guarantees. This is what is now being discussed at the talks. There are absolutely specific wordings and, in my view, the sides are close to agreeing on them.”said Mr Lavrov.
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