Brent futures rose on Thursday as Russia vowed to respond if its interests in Ukraine came under attack, stoking fears of an escalation in tensions that have pushed the oil benchmark up 5 percent this month to hover above $109 a barrel.
Russia accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine, now in its fourth month, which has dragged Moscow’s relations with the West to their lowest since the Cold War. But price gains were capped as oil stockpiles in the United States rose to a record.
Brent crude had climbed 19 cents to $109.30 a barrel by 0217 GMT, after settling 16 cents lower. The contract has ended above $109 for the fourth straight day and has held near a six-week high. U.S. oil increased 22 cents to $101.66, after settling 31 cents lower.
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