Equity futures jumped after RIA Novosti reported that Russia seeks a de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. ... Futures had retreated earlier as President Barack Obama approved airstrikes in Iraq, and rocket attacks marked the end of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the highest price in three days before supply data that will signal the strength of fuel demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent in London was steady.
Oil is trying to ignore geopolitical headlines. While Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire in Gaza easing momentum, yesterday’s report of Russia adding battalions near the border with Ukraine and conducting war games by the border is creating unease.
Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurds reasserted their right to sell $100 million of crude on board a tanker off the Texas coastline after the government in Baghdad persuaded a U.S. judge to order the cargo’s seizure.
The EU and U.S. followed through and hit Russia with more sanctions in response to the trouble that they are causing in Ukraine. The sanctions on Russia may start to bite and are already impacting many stock and commodity markets across the board.