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Oil Jumps On Russia Gas Supply Jitters, Weaker Dollar

Oil prices extended gains on Monday, boosted by mounting concerns over gas supply from Russia and a lower dollar, offsetting demand fears brought on by a possible recession and China lockdowns.

Brent crude futures for September settlement were up$4.37, or 4.3%, to $105.53 a barrel by 12:30 p.m. EDT (1630 GMT), having gained 2.1% on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for August delivery were up $4.02, or 4.1%, at $101.61 after rising by 1.9% in the previous session.

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom declared force majeure on gas supplies to Europe to at least one major customer, according to the letter seen by Reuters, potentially ratcheting up the continent’s supply crunch.

Gazprom has told customers in Europe it cannot guarantee gas supplies because of ‘extraordinary’ circumstances.  

“Brent crude will find support at the end of the week if Russia does not turn the gas back on to Germany after Nord Stream 1 maintenance,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior analyst at OANDA.

A trading source said the letter concerned supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a major supply route to Germany and beyond.

Both Brent and WTI last week registered their biggest weekly declines for about a month on fears of a recession that would hit oil demand.

The U.S. dollar

Meanwhile, mass COVID-19 testing exercises continue in parts of China this week, raising concerns over oil demand from the world’s second-largest oil consumer.

However, supplies remain tight. As expected, U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia failed to yield any pledge from the top OPEC producer to boost oil supply.  

Biden wants Gulf oil producers to step up output to help to lower oil prices and drive down inflation. (Reuters)

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