- Daily Zen
The price of oil has risen to the highest since 2008 due to delays in the probable return of Iranian crude to global markets and as the US and its European allies explore barring imports of Russian oil. The price of Brent crude oil surged over $10 early Monday. Benchmark U.S. crude was up nearly $9 at more than $124 a barrel.
Meanwhile, the United States is considering legislation to further isolate Russia from the global economy, including barring the import of its oil and energy products. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude had risen $9.08 to $124.74 a barrel by late morning in Tokyo. The all-time high was reached in July 2008, when the price of US crude reached $145.29.
This put the average price of gasoline in the United States above $4 per gallon, a mark already broken. Regular gasoline prices climbed over 41 cents on Sunday, breaking $4 per gallon (3.8 liters) on average for the first time since 2008, according to the AAA motor club.
The all-time high for average gasoline prices was $4.10 per gallon on July 17, 2008. Brent crude-the international pricing standard-peaked at $139.13 a barrel on Monday before reversing course. It was selling at $128.67 a barrel, up $10.56.
U.S. futures sank on Wall Street, with the benchmark S&P 500 contract down 1.6 percent and the Dow industrials contract down 1.3 percent. European stock futures have also fallen.
Japan, which imports almost all of its energy, will be hit hard by higher fuel prices. In morning trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 3.5 percent to 25,091.93.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 4.0 percent to 21,021.38, while the Kospi in South Korea dived 2.5 percent to 2,648.48. The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia fell 1.2 percent to 7,023.10, while the Shanghai Composite dropped about 0.8 percent to 3,421.81.
Analysts speculate that the Ukraine-Russia conflict will continue to dominate market attitudes, and the lack of signs of a resolution thus far may put a ceiling on risk sentiments entering the new week.
Markets around the world have been swinging dramatically recently due to concerns about how high prices for oil, wheat, and other regional commodities will rise as a result of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, exacerbating the world’s already high inflation.
Despite a far higher report on US jobs than experts predicted, Wall Street ended the week with equities tumbling. The S&P 500 index slid 0.8 percent to 4,328.87, its third weekly loss in a row. It is now down just under 10% from its all-time high hit earlier this year.
The Dow first dropped over 500 points. It ended the day at 33,614.80, down 0.5 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.7 percent to 13,313.44. The small-company Russell 2000 index fell 1.6 percent to 2,000.90.
The US dollar rose to 114.93 Japanese yen from 114.86 yen in currency trade. The euro was trading at $1.0846, down from $1.0926 the day before.