Oil prices plunged today after Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled the troops that have occupied much of Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region during the weekend. However, there was reportedly no movement of forces from the area.
Brent crude hit a low of $110.12 a barrel, while US oil fell to $103.91 a barrel, reported Reuters.
Russia saw its stocks, bonds and the rouble plummet on Monday for its invasion in Ukraine. Investors dumped riskier assets such as stocks and flocked commodities such as gold and oil.
Being Europe’s biggest gas supplier, the country exports the majority of its gas through Ukraine. Supply disruption fears rose in the region with tensions between the neighbouring countries.
Although Europe and Ukraine’s dependency on Russian natural gas has reduced in recent years, a mild winter and improved infrastructure could hurt energy supplies by easing worries over the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
Investors are now waiting for weekly data of oil inventories in the US to gauge demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
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According to a Reuters poll, US commercial crude oil inventories are expected to have increased by one million barrels on average last week.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is set to release its data on Tuesday and the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) data is due on Wednesday.
Image: Investors are eyeing weekly US oil inventories data. Photo: courtesy of Victor Habbick at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.