The Hong Kong Telegraph - Oil prices slide as EU snubs Russia ban

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Oil prices slide as EU snubs Russia ban
Oil prices slide as EU snubs Russia ban

Oil prices slide as EU snubs Russia ban

Benchmark oil prices slid by three percent Friday after European countries decided against a ban on Russian oil imports over its Ukraine invasion -- but Germany said it would drastically slash its energy purchases from Moscow.

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European stocks climbed after an upbeat US performance, but gains were capped by caution as Russia's invasion of its neighbour entered its second month.

"European reluctance to walk away from the Russian oil weighs on oil prices," said Swissquote analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

But the United States and EU did announce a drive to wean Europe off Russian gas imports and so choke off the billions in revenues that are fuelling Moscow's ruinous war.

Europe's biggest economy, Germany, said its own Russian oil imports would be halved by June and coal deliveries stopped by the autumn of this year.

On stock markets, London advanced in midday deals as investors set aside official data showing a drop in UK retail sales.

Frankfurt and Paris equities climbed in early afternoon deals despite weak regional economic data.

However, "anxieties about the increasingly entrenched conflict in Ukraine are" holding back share price gains, said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

Russia launched its assault on Ukraine on February 24, sending shockwaves across global markets that continue to reverberate.

The business climate in Germany worsened in March, the Ifo index showed, amid fears over soaring energy prices and deepening supply-chain woes owing to the Ukraine war.

Wall Street had rallied overnight as data showed filings for US unemployment benefits hit their lowest level since September 1969.

However, Asian markets fluctuated as traders focused on the impact of the Ukraine war, alongside surging inflation and Federal Reserve plans to fight it.

The crisis in eastern Europe has forced investors to reassess their outlook for the global economy owing to an expected surge in already soaring prices, which some commentators now warn could lead to recessions.

- Key figures around 1215 GMT -

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 3.0 percent at $115.44 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.3 percent at $109.73 per barrel

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,493.55 points

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.9 percent at 14,408.61

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.8 percent at 6,610.53

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.9 percent at 3,899.11

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 28,149.84 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 2.5 percent at 21,404.88 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.2 percent at 3,212.24 (close)

New York - DOW: UP 1.0 percent at 34,707.94 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1011 from $1.0997 late Thursday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3202 from $1.3187

Euro/pound: UP at 83.41 pence from 83.39 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 121.64 yen from 122.35 yen