Ukraine crisis: Oil prices rose as fresh tension emerges
London: Oil prices rose today, supported by tensions in Ukraine as investors awaited the US Federal Reserve`s policy meeting later in the week, analysts said.
New York`s West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June climbed 60 cents to USD 101.20 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for June advanced 22 cents to stand at USD 109.80 a barrel in London afternoon deals.
Ukraine, a major conduit for Russian natural gas exports to Western Europe, is monitored closely by investors who are concerned that a full-scale armed conflict will disrupt supplies and send energy prices soaring.
The United States moved to impose fresh sanctions against Russia today over the crisis, as pro-Kremlin gunmen seized another town in the east, further escalating tensions.
Top EU officials were also meeting in Brussels to step up European sanctions on Russia as part of a coordinated global effort against Moscow.
Away from Ukraine, the Fed meeting will be closely watched for clues about the bank`s plans for its stimulus and its outlook on the world`s biggest economy and oil consuming nation.
Economists expect the Fed to further cut its stimulus programme following a string of figures showing the economy is improving.
A further tapering will likely boost the US currency, making dollar-priced oil more expensive and dampening demand.
Analysts said a stronger dollar may hurt oil demand at first but a healthier US economy will be good for the commodity in the long term.
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