Oil prices rise as traders assess prospect of EU ban on Russian oil

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A man pumps gas at a gas station in San Antonio, Texas, the United States on Feb. 24, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Oil prices climbed on Thursday as traders weighed the prospect of a European Union (EU) ban on imports of Russian oil.

The West Texas Intermediate for June delivery added 3.34 U.S. dollars, or 3.3 percent, to settle at 105.36 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for June delivery increased 2.27 dollars, or 2.2 percent, to close at 107.59 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

The rise came after reports that Germany was prepared to stop buying Russian crude, clearing the way for an EU embargo.

German representatives to EU institutions lifted objections to a full embargo of Russian supplies provided Berlin was given enough time to find alternative supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing government officials.

The news rekindled concerns over tight supplies.

However, the upswing of oil prices was somewhat capped by strength in the U.S. dollar. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, jumped 0.65 percent to 103.6240 in late trading on Thursday, following a similar increase in the prior session. Historically, the price of oil is inversely related to the price of the U.S. dollar.

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