Crude oil fell on signs the European Union is struggling to agree on an embargo on Russian imports, and as gasoline sank from last week’s record.
WTI trading around $109 a barrel while Brent is trading around $100 a barrel.
The 27-nation bloc is unlikely to approve the ban when leaders meet next week as Hungary opposes the measure, according to people familiar with the matter as reported by Bloomberg. Still, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said he hoped to have the embargo “within days”.
The prospect of European curbs on Russian oil continues to hang over the market, with “a move toward the thinking that we won’t see sanctions happen in the short term,” said Daniel Hynes, a senior commodities strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. At the same time, a high level of uncertainty remains over demand from China, he added.
China’s State Council, a top government body chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, has moved to cushion the economic impact of the curbs, China National Radio reported. The support includes policies to help people buy cars, ensure cargo transport runs smoothly and increase the number of domestic flights.