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Oil prices dropped in a sudden move on Wednesday, giving back some of the rally this month amid supply disruptions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
WTI crude oil tumbled more than 13% to trade at $108 per barrel. Earlier this week, WTI topped $130 per barrel briefly during escalated geopolitical tensions. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, fell a similar 12% to $112. Brent hit $139 on Monday, its highest since 2008.
There was no clear headline driving the losses. But the move lower could be related to traders taking profits after the much-speculated announcement of a Russia oil ban by the U.S. on Tuesday.
“The world is working together to tackle surging oil prices and that has put a short-term top for crude,” Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note.
Still, oil prices have surged this month with WTI crude oil up 15% as Russia, the world’s second-largest crude exporter, invaded Ukraine.
The United Kingdom announced its own restrictions on buying Russian oil imports, saying it will phase out the country’s imports by the end of the year. The European Union also unveiled a plan to wean itself off of Russian fossil fuels.
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