Oil pushed further above the $100 threshold and Asian shares sold off on Wednesday after Russia intensified its attacks on Ukraine’s biggest cities and adopted more aggressive tactics.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose as much as 4.4 per cent to a seven-year high of $109.59 a barrel in early Asian trading, while US marker West Texas Intermediate climbed as much as 4.7 per cent to $108.29.
The latest gains for oil, which left Brent almost 16 per cent higher since Russian president Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, came as Russia stepped up its bombardment of Ukraine’s biggest cities.
Sanctions imposed on Russia by western countries have sought to avoid the energy sector but have nonetheless stoked volatility in global markets on concerns over disruptions to supply. But US energy group ExxonMobil said on Tuesday it would exit Russian oil and gas operations, marking the latest corporate exit in response to the invasion.
Joe Biden has also come under mounting pressure to ban Russian oil imports, with both Republicans and Democrats calling on the US president to…