Geopolitical Tension Back In The Driver Seat For Crude

Benzinga

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Brent crude oil looked set to end the week on a gain after a commercial airline was shot down in eastern Ukraine near the border of Russia late on Thursday.

The commodity traded at $108.35 at 8:40 GMT as geopolitical tension once again took the driver seat for oil prices.

A Malaysian Airlines passenger jet traveling above 32,000 feet from Amsterdam was downed near the border of Russia on Thursday evening, sparking questions about who had the long range missile technology and ability to hit a moving target so far from the ground.

Brent prices gained nearly two percent on Thursday after news of the crash surfaced, with accusations about who was responsible flying among Ukraine, Moscow and pro-Russian separatists. Global leaders have called for an international investigation, which most believe will further escalate the tension between Russia and the West, as the incident will most likely be tied to Moscow in some way.

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Brent had already been climbing this week as economic data from the U.S. and China indicated that the world’s two largest consumers were growing. Chinese second quarter GDP beat expectations with growth of 7.5 percent, while U.S. oil inventory data confirmed that the nation’s crude stocks declined by 7.5 million barrels last week.

Moving forward, investors will be keeping an eye on geopolitical tension as the situation between Ukraine and Russia develops. Libya will also be on the radar as the nation continues to face obstacles as it tries to ramp up its oil production.

CNBC reported that a security guard protest cut oil production at the nation’s Brega port, leaving the Libya’s exports at around 555,000 barrels per day.

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