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Oil spikes on geopolitical turmoil and sanctions

Crude futures after yesterday's sluggish gains today shot up at the open, with the Brent price soaring over 8% and exceeding the 2014 high of $101/bbl, while WTI is up by 8.4%, closing in on $100/bbl.

The Russian army, at the invitation of the authorities of the DPR and LPR republics of Donbass recognized by Russia, entered the territory of these republics to maintain peace. The West considers this situation as a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as it does not recognize the independence of these republics from Ukraine, pledging to impose tougher sanctions on Russia. The market is fearful that the sanctions could to a greater or lesser extent target Russia’s energy sector, a move that would intensify buying of oil futures even at such high prices. In any case, sanctions and underinvestment in the oil and gas sector will push hydrocarbon prices up in the medium term, already to the level of prices seen not in 2014, but in 2013.

Today, the resistance level for Brent is $102/bbl. However, April futures prices have already topped $104, which means that this resistance could be quickly breached, so today we expect Brent to trade within the range of $100-103/bbl.

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