Oil continues rally as Russia-Ukraine talks stall


Oil prices extended their gains on Friday at the end of a third volatile week of trade after slim progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine raised the spectre prolonged disruption to oil supply.

Brent crude futures rose $1.14, to $107.78 a barrel after surging nearly 9% on Thursday in the largest percentage gain since mid-2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed $1.24, to $104.22 a barrel, adding to an 8% jump on Thursday.

Both benchmark contracts were set to end the week down more than 4%, after having traded in a $16 range. Prices have dropped from 14-year highs hit nearly two weeks ago.

The supply crunch from traders avoiding Russian barrels, stuttering nuclear talks with Iran, dwindling oil stockpiles and worries about a surge of COVID-19 cases in China hitting demand have combined to produce a rollercoaster ride for crude this week.

The volatility has scared players out of the oil market, which in turn is likely to exacerbate price swings. r

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