Oil prices fall marginally as market volatility eases
Oil prices eased at the start of trading on Sunday evening, a respite from the volatility of recent weeks as Russia’s attack on Ukraine grinds to a halt.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $ 111 a barrel, down about 1 per cent on Sunday night. In December, Russian President Vladimir V. Before Putin, it cost around $65 a barrel, which President Biden called a “vicious circle of choice” in Ukraine. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was trading around $108, down 1.5 percent.
Oil prices, which rose sharply in the market last week due to US sanctions, are showing signs of exiting levels. On Tuesday, President Biden closed the spigot of Russian oil in the United States as punishment for the war in Ukraine. He also banned imports of Russian natural gas and coal.
Mr Biden had initially opposed calls for such aggressive sanctions on Russian oil, concerned that they would drive up fuel prices further – a potentially polarizing issue in an election year. But as Russia intensified its attacks on Ukraine, it announced sweeping sanctions, which he warned would inevitably lead to more pain for Americans at the pump.
“I said from the very beginning that I would be on par with the American people,” he said last week. “And when I first spoke of it, I said that protecting liberty would be costly.”
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas on Sunday was $4.325. That’s higher than a week ago when gas prices hit $4.009, almost the highest level since 2008, but down ten percent since Saturday.
Even before Biden’s decision, the United States imported only a small amount of Russian oil, representing less than 10 percent of its total energy resources. But the move, intended to financially isolate Russia, effectively prevents the country from profiting from US oil purchases.
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