Oil Rises After Russia Sanctions

Major oil companies with interests in Russia scrambled Monday to respond to new U.S. sanctions against Russia, as the United States on Monday imposed measures against seven Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to President Vladimir Putin in its latest action to punish Moscow for its intervention in Ukraine.

Brent Crude consolidated near seven-week highs Monday, though it slipped below $109 a barrel on signs that Libya may soon reopen a small oil port.

Russian oil giant Rosneft saw its shares drop Monday after its chief executive, Igor Sechin, was among those singled out by the United States for punitive sanctions. Rosneft was the only publicly traded Russian company to be affected by the sanctions. Its shares lost about 2 percent even as Moscow’s MICEX index rose Monday.

Standard and Poor’s ratings agency cut the credit ratings of state-controlled Rosneft and Gazprom to BBB- from BBB on Monday, the agency said in a statement on its website.

The downgrade, to a notch above junk rating, came after the agency cut Russia’s sovereign rating on Friday, also to BBB-, the lowest investment grade category.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza