It has been a lively start to the week as US oil shoots to the moon in fears of a supply shock. More on this here:
The news that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is exploring legislation that would ban Russian oil imports is solidifying this theme in markets today which has triggered an additional bout of volatility. This was a theme that roiled markets at the open.
Pelosi said last Thursday that she supports banning Russian oil imports to the US. Biden has been reluctant to curb Russian oil shipments to the US or slap on energy sanctions with prices already hitting the pockets of US citizens. However, the sanction has already been backed by wide numbers of Republicans and an increasing number of Democrats. A bill to ban oil and energy imports from Russia would terminate normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus and cancel Moscow’s access to the WTO.
At the time of writing, WTI is trading around $124bbls, below the highs of the day of $127.54. It is poised to move higher though following a correction as traders wait for confirmation of the curbs on Russian products. The European shift will be revealing in this regard as Blinkin seeks EU support.
Meanwhile, there is no let-up in Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine. The UK Times reports that Russian forces In Ukraine are decimated, but this raises the risks of intensified attacks as Vladimir Putin ups the ante. Ukraine fears larger scale airstrikes and heavier artillery.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy, has pleaded for a no-fly zone over his country and lashed out at NATO for refusing to impose one, warning that “all the people who die from this day forward will also die because of you.”
However, NATO has no intention for the risk of escalating the war across Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned over the weekend that his country would consider any third-party declaration of a no-fly zone over Ukraine as participation in the war there.
He said Russia would view “any move in this direction” as an intervention that “will pose a threat to our service members.”
“That very second, we will view them as participants of the military conflict, and it would not matter what members they are,” the Russian president said.
Additionally, Wall Street Journal reported that ”Syrians may be sent to fight in Ukraine Russia recruiting Syrians who can fight in urban warfare to send them to Ukraine, WSJ has reported citing four US officials. The US officials did not specify the number of Syrian mercenaries were planned to be sent.”
Meanwhile, Russia and Ukraine have agreed to hold a third round of peace talks, aimed at negotiating another ceasefire and giving civilians safe passage to evacuate the besieged cities on Monday.
Last week’s promise of a ceasefire in the port city of Mariupol was halted by Russian shelling, which was in violation of the agreement, a Kyiv official said.