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Futures Movers: Oil extends rise on reports of ban on Russian crude as gasoline prices hit a record high

Oil futures rose Tuesday, building on the highest finish for the U.S. benchmark since 2008, as Washington and its allies weigh a ban on purchases of Russian crude.

Price action

West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery
CL00,
+1.86%

CL.1,
+1.86%

CLJ22,
+1.86%

roe $3.10, or 2.6%, to $122.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after ending Monday at its highest since Sept. 22, 2008.

May Brent crude
BRN00,
+2.42%

BRNK22,
+2.42%
,
the global benchmark, was up $3.36, or 2.7%, at $126.57 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe after finishing Monday at its highest since April 5, 2012.

April gasoline
RB00,
+1.81%

RBJ22,
+1.81%

rose 2.5% to $3.6621 a gallon, after finishing Monday at a record. April heating oil
HOJ22,
+6.79%

jumped 7.1% to $4.1997 a gallon.

April natural gas
NGJ22,
-6.66%

was down 4.9% at $4.594 per million British thermal units.

Market drivers

Oil futures continue to march higher in the wake of Russia’s Feb.24 invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. and its allies continue to weigh the possibility of banning purchases of crude from Russia, which exports around 5 million barrels a day.

Although sanctions against Moscow announced so far have exempted energy flows, a number of buyers and other market participants have appeared to shun Russian crude out of fear of potentially falling afoul of legal restrictions or in response to criticism. Shell PLC said Tuesday that it plans to withdraw from Russian oil and gas in a phased manner, including an immediate halt on all spot purchases of Russian crude.

Read: Why Russian oil can’t find buyers even as crude soars above $100 a barrel

“This is the tightest fundamental backdrop in years and the developments in Russia/Ukraine have ignited a market that was already a coiled spring,” said Michael Tran, commodity analyst at RBC Capital Markets, in a note. “How high can oil prices go? Pick a number, this is a market in disarray.”

Read: What soaring oil prices mean for the stock market as Dow tumbles into correction

Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline prices continue to jump at the pump as well as in the futures market. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline hit $4.173 early Tuesday, AAA reported, exceeding the previous record of $4.114 set in July 2008.

See: ‘Americans have never seen gasoline prices this high — nor have we seen the pace of increases so fast and furious’

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