Oil

The prices of oil and gas are climbing due to fears that the deepening Ukraine-Russia crisis will disrupt supplies across the world.

The price of Brent crude, an international benchmark, reached a seven-year high of $99.38 (€87.52) a barrel on Tuesday.

The crisis escalated significantly on Monday, after Russia recognised the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk – partially held by separatist forces – as independent states and sent troops into the region.

Meanwhile, in stock market news, the FTSE 100 share index opened more than 1.4 per cent lower before regaining some ground.

Asian stock markets closed lower, while US stock exchanges were braced for losses.

The US, UK and several western allies have threatened sanctions against Russia, which is the second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia. Russia is also the world’s top producer of natural gas.

Russia has said its troops will engage in “peacekeeping” in the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, a statement the US has called “ridiculous.”

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