Oil prices hit highest in more than 2 months ahead of EU meeting on Russia sanctions


Oil prices climbed on Monday, hitting their highest in more than two months, as traders waited to see if the European Union would reach an agreement on banning Russian oil imports to sanction Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

The Brent crude futures contract  for July, which expires on Tuesday, was up 37 cents, at $119.80 a barrel after rising to as high as $120.50 earlier in the session..

Meanwhile U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude  futures jumped 78 cents, to $115.85 a barrel, extending solid gains made last week.

The EU is due to meet on Monday and Tuesday to discuss a sixth package of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, actions Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

EU governments failed to agree on an embargo on Russian oil on Sunday, but will continue talks on a deal to ban seaborne deliveries of Russian oil while allowing deliveries by pipeline, ahead of the summit on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Any further ban on Russian oil would tighten a crude market already strained for supply amid rising demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel ahead of the peak summer demand season in the United States and Europe.

Sky-high refining margins for diesel and gasoline in Europe and the United States have sent prices for some types of physical crude oil to record highs, according to traders.

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