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Oil prices jump as Russia launches attack on Ukraine

Brent crude futures were up 5.4 percent at $102.07 per barrel, crossing the $100 level for the first time since 2014.
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/ Source: CNBC.com

Oil prices popped more than 5 percent on news that Russia was launching a military attack in Ukraine.

U.S. crude futures jumped by 5.23 percent to trade at $96.92 per barrel.

Brent crude futures were up 5.4 percent at $102.07 per barrel, crossing the $100 level for the first time since 2014.

Natural gas prices surged 5.39 percent. Spot gold, traditionally seen as a safe-haven asset, rose 1.82 percent and last traded at $1,942.21.

Explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, NBC News reported.

The United Nations Security Council met in New York late Wednesday as representatives from member states pleaded with Putin not to attack Ukraine.

Putin warned other countries that there would be “consequences they have never seen,” if there’s an attempt to interfere with Russia’s action, Reuters reported.

This rapid escalation in Ukraine has enabled Brent to top $100 much sooner than most analysts expected, said Ellen Wald, president of Transversal Consulting.

In addition to tight supplies, there’s also uncertainty about sanctions from the Biden administration.

“Will they sanction Russian oil or gas? Because this would mean significant pain for even U.S. consumers. The United States does import Russian oil. In fact, there’s oil headed to the U.S. as we speak,” Wald told “Street Signs Asia.”

“Now that we’ve actually got this military operation happening on the ground, you have the prospect of physical inability to shift oil out of certain areas, particularly the Black Sea. So, I think we’re now seeing that factoring into prices as well,” she said Thursday.

On escalations in Ukraine, Goldman Sachs said in a Wednesday report that the impact on energy prices should be limited. “While Europe imports a large share of its natural gas consumption from Russia, the US is a net exporter of natural gas and any spillover effects on US gas prices should be modest,” analysts at the Wall Street bank said.

“Our commodities strategists also expect only a modest impact on oil prices, though they see the risks as skewed to the upside because the oil market is already tight.”