Oil prices jump, stocks fall over inflation, Russia concerns

Oil and gas prices surged while stock markets fell on Wednesday on renewed fears over Russian energy supplies and soaring inflation.

Crude futures jumped more than 4% with Brent North Sea, the international benchmark, exceeding $120 per barrel.

The oil and gas price increases “may be contributing to the declines we’re seeing in equity markets, given the additional pressures that will be put on households and businesses should it be maintained,” said Craig Erlam, an analyst at OANDA, a foreign exchange platform.

Moscow could face more sanctions as US President Joe Biden left Wednesday for Europe on a mission to bolster Western unity against Russia, though Europe has avoided an oil embargo so far.

Concerns over supply also rose as Russia warned that repairs at a terminal near a Black Sea port may take up to two months and lead to a drop in oil exports of about one million barrels per day.

Gas prices rose after President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will now only accept rubles for gas deliveries to “unfriendly countries”, which include EU nations. Europe’s gas price reference Dutch TTF briefly rose past 130 euros per megawatt hour before falling back to 117 euros later in the day.

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