Oil rises on Russian supply concerns but off session high


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Oil rose on Thursday in volatile trading focused on Russian oil supply concerns and as the Bank of England hiked interest rates less than some had expected.

Brent crude futures were up 75 cents, or 0.8%, at$90.58 per barrel by 12:17 p.m. EDT (1617 GMT), after rising by more than $2 earlier in the session.

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U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 75 cents, or 0.8%, at $83.69, after rising by more than $3 earlier in the session.

Russia pushed ahead with its biggest conscription since World War Two, raising concerns an escalation of the war in Ukraine could further hurt supply.

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“Putin’s bellicose rhetoric is what’s propping up this market,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Supply constraints from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) added further support, analysts said.

“OPEC crude exports have leveled off from a strong increase at the start of this month,” said Giovanni Staunovo, commodity analyst at UBS.

The European Union is considering an oil price cap, tighter curbs on high-tech exports to Russia and more sanctions against individuals, diplomats said, responding to what the West condemned as an escalation in Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

Crude oil demand in China, the world’s largest oil importer, is rebounding, having been dampened by strict COVID-19 restrictions.

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The Bank of England raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points to 2.25% and said it would continue to “respond forcefully, as necessary” to inflation.

The rate hike was “less than markets had been pricing and defying some expectations that UK policymakers might be forced into a larger move,” ING bank said.

Turkey’s central bank unexpectedly cut its policy rate by 100 basis points to 12%, when most central banks around the world are moving in the opposite direction.

Following the Federal Reserve’s hefty 75 bps rise on Wednesday, rate increases also came thick and fast from the Swiss National Bank, Norges bank and Indonesia’s central bank, with a further hike expected from the South African Reserve bank later in the day.

“This just shows how synchronized this current tightening cycle is,” Deutsche Bank said. (Additional reporting by Rowena Edwards in London Additional reporting by Muyu Xu in Singapore Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Gregorio)

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