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Sanctions imposed on Russia & Oil prices near $100/barrel - Mid Week Market Watch


Welcome to our mid-week news highlights. Our article today focuses on Russian sanctions & the raising oil prices that is of concern.


  • Earlier on Tuesday (22nd February), the US and its European counterparts have announced a wide range of sanctions against Russia. The move to sanctions came after Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognise self-declared separatist republics in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. 
  • After a unanimous decision in the Federation Council, Putin has announced to deploy "peacekeepers" to the breakaway regions and potentially into other parts of Ukraine. Valentina Matviyenko, an upper house speaker, indicates that peace-keeping forces are designed to maintain peace and stability in the self-proclaimed east Ukrainian republics. 
  • US President Biden has unveiled two crucial sanctions targetting Russia's largest financial institution, VEB and its military bank and Russian elites and their family members. The sanctions are said to prevent Russia from accessing US capital and financial markets. Biden states, "Russia can no longer raise money from the west and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets". Germany has played its role of sanctions in announcing the halting of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline certification from Russia. Germany is Russia's largest customer for natural gas. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hails Germany for swift action. 
  • Ukrainian President Voloydymyr Zelensky has recalled its contract military personnel to active duty and mobilises members of the newly created territorial defence brigades for exercises. 

Oil Prices

  • On Tuesday, oil prices neared $100/barrel after Russian President Putin ordered its troops into eastern Ukraine. 
  • The international crude oil benchmark Brent rose as high as $99.50/barrel, an all-time high since 2014. Oil traders weighed in the possibility of a supply chain disruption from Russia. 
  • As Germany moves to halt the approval on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, prices shot up.

Gold Prices

  • Spot Gold price indicates consolidation above $1,900/ounce as Russia - Ukraine tensions escalate. 
  • Traders are concerned about a full-scale invasion by the Russian military into Ukraine. 
  • Analysts at FX Street infer that gold prices will remain underpinned this week as tensions between Russia and Ukraine are escalating. 


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