London, (The Southern African Times) – Oil prices surged by nearly $6 per barrel Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched Russian military action in Ukraine.
Brent crude oil jumped to more than 100 U.S. dollars per barrel in early Asian trading on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies. The 101.34 price is the highest since 2014.
Putin’s action could trigger a war in Europe over Russia’s demands for an end to NATO’s eastward expansion.
The United States, Britain, Japan and the 27-nation European Union earlier imposed sanctions on Russian banks, officials and business leaders. Potential options for more penalties include barring Russia from the global system for bank transactions. But so far no one has ordered sanctions on energy trade.
Global stock markets continued their slide in Thursday trading.
The future for Germany’s benchmark DAX index lost 5.3 percent and London’s FTSE 100 was off 3.3 percent.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 1.8 percent to 25,970.82 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 3.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index shed 1.7% to 3,429.96.
The New Zealand, Australian and Indian exchanges are also down.
The crypto market fell heavily on Thursday. Bitcoin is now below the 35,000 U.S. dollar support zone in Asian trading. Second-ranked Ether declined as much as 12 percent to $2,301.84. Other coins like XRP, Cardano and Solana were down as well.