Oil rises on supply fears amid tensions in East Europe, Middle East

Oil facilities are seen on Lake Maracaibo in Cabimas, Venezuela January 29, 2019. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Monday on worries about supply disruption amid rising tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Brent crude futures rose 59 cents to $88.46 a barrel by 0640 GMT, reversing a 0.6% loss on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 54 cents to $85.68 per barrel, having fallen 0.5% on Friday.

“Investors remained bullish due to geopolitical risk between Russia and Ukraine as well as in the Middle East, while OPEC+ continued to fail to reach its output target,” Reuters quoted Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Securities Co Ltd, as saying.

“An expectation for higher heating oil demand in the United States amid cold weather also added to pressure,” he said.

Fueling fears of supply disruption in Eastern Europe, the United States on Sunday ordered the departure of family members of staff at its embassy in Ukraine, citing the continuing threat of military action from Russia.

The New York Times reported late on Sunday that U.S. President Joe Biden was considering deploying several thousands of U.S. troops to NATO allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates’ defense ministry said it destroyed two Houthi ballistic missiles targeting the Gulf country on Monday, with no casualties, the state news agency (WAM) reported.

Both benchmarks rose for a fifth week in a row last week, gaining around 2% to hit their highest since October 2014. Prices are already up more than 10% this year on the concerns over tightening supplies.

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