Brent crude surged to a two-month high amid escalating tension between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s largest oil producer. West Texas Intermediate rose to the most since September.
The European benchmark climbed as much as 3 percent, boosting its premium to WTI. Ukraine mobilized its army reserves as Russia seized control of the Black Sea region of Crimea. The U.S. is weighing sanctions against Moscow during the worst standoff between the West and Russia since the Cold War ended. WTI gained on speculation supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, slid.
“The Russian foray into the Crimea is jacking up the geopolitical premium in the market,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The bulls are having their way and the rally continues.”
Brent for April settlement climbed $2.73, or 2.5 percent, to $111.80 a barrel at 11 a.m. New York time on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It rose to $112.39 earlier, the highest level since Dec. 30. Volume was double the 100-day average.
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