Futures rose as European officials weighed expanding sanctions against Russia, saying the government in the world’s biggest energy exporter is stoking deadly separatist unrest in Ukraine. Russia and the U.S. traded barbs at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council yesterday, blaming one another for the latest bout of unrest.
“Brent is really being supported on the tensions involving Ukraine and the threat of economic sanctions against Russia,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.
Ultra low sulfur diesel for May delivery rose 2.5 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.9582 a gallon at 10:05 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first increase in three sessions. Volume was 18 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for May settlement increased 62 cents to $107.95 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. May gasoil jumped $5 to $909 per metric ton.
European Union foreign ministers, gathering for a meeting today in Luxembourg, said the bloc should be prepared to impose a third round of sanctions as armed separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a deadline to release official buildings they’ve occupied. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied his nation is involved.
May-delivery gasoline rose 0.7 cent to $3.0214 a gallon on volume that was 29 percent above the 100-day average.
May gasoline’s crack spread versus West Texas Intermediate crude, based on settlement prices, gained 19 cents to $23.06 a barrel. The motor fuel’s premium to European benchmark Brent rose 13 cents to $18.94 a barrel.
The average U.S. pump price rose 0.3 cent to $3.638 a gallon, the highest since July 26, according to data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA. Prices are 10.6 cents higher than a year ago.
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