Oil hits higher on Week Open Demand Outlook, Ukraine

Oil markets opened the week strong on signs of buoyant global demand and continued tensions over Ukraine, putting Brent on track for its best January performance in at least 30 years.

The global benchmark rose 1% in early Asian trading after posting a six-weekly gain streak that saw prices hit their highest level since 2014. West Texas Intermediate rose to $88 a barrel after climbed 2% last week.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed near Ukraine, there are fears that Moscow could order an invasion, which could disrupt energy flows. Moscow further increased its workforce this weekend, according to the Pentagon. The crisis will be discussed at the United Nations Security Council later on Monday.

Crude soared this month as global markets tightened, with major banks and oil companies saying oil could soon top $100 a barrel. The advance was buoyed as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies were unable to fully meet planned increases in supply production in recent months. The OPEC+ alliance meets on Wednesday to assess the market.

As global activity continues to recover from the hit of the coronavirus pandemic, commodity markets are roaring, including gasoline. Refiners around the world are making strong profits from the production of the key motor fuel, with the demand outlook signaling continued strength.

Global oil markets are in reverse, a bullish pattern in which short-term contracts command a premium to those further out. The spread between the two closest December contracts for Brent was $5.88 a barrel discounted from $4.12 a barrel at the start of the month.

This story was published from a news feed with no text edits. Only the title has been changed.

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