Monday, Feb. 06, 2023|
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TOKYO — The price of oil jumped more than $10 a barrel and shares were sharply lower Monday as the conflict in Ukraine deepened amid mounting calls for harsher sanctions against Russia.
Brent crude oil surged over $10 early Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude was up nearly $9 at more than $124 a barrel.
The surge followed a warning from Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ukrainian statehood was imperiled as Russian forces battered strategic locations. A temporary cease-fire in two Ukrainian cities failed over the weekend — and both sides blamed each other.
Oil prices came under additional pressure after Libya’s national oil company said an armed group had shut down two crucial oil fields. The move caused the country’s daily oil output to drop by 330,000.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, said the House was exploring legislation to further isolate Russia from the global economy, including banning the import of its oil and energy products into the U.S.
By late morning in Tokyo, U.S. crude had jumped $9.08 to $124.74 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The all-time high was marked in July 2008, when the price per barrel of U.S. crude climbed to $145.29.
That pushed the average price for gasoline in the U.S. above $4 a gallon, a milestone already reached again.
The price of regular gasoline rose almost 41 cents, breaking $4 per gallon (3.8 liters) on average across the U.S. on Sunday for the first time since 2008, according to the AAA motor club.
The all-time high for average gasoline prices was set in July 17, 2008 at $4.10 per gallon.
Brent crude, the international pricing standard, hit $139.13 per barrel before falling back Monday. It was trading up $10.56 at $128.67 a barrel.
On Wall Street, U.S. futures fell, with the contract for the benchmark S&P 500 down 1.6% and that for the Dow industrials falling 1.3%. Stock futures in Europe also declined.
Higher fuel costs are devastating for Japan, which imports almost all its energy.
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