Oil marches towards $100 a barrel as markets watch Ukraine crisis deepen | Business News


Stock markets are plunging and Brent crude oil costs are nearing $100 a barrel as the crisis over Ukraine deteriorates.

Brent, the international benchmark, was trading above $97 – its highest level since 2014 – and market experts said there would be an inevitable spike to above $100 in the event of a full invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Jitters grew after columns of military vehicles, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers, were seen on the outskirts of Donetsk, the capital of one of two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine that Russia said it had now recognised as republics.

Read live updates – UK ambassador to the UN: ‘Russia has brought us to the brink, we urge Russia to step back’

US and European sanctions are now expected to follow president Putin’s declaration. He may choose to respond by disrupting supplies of Russian oil and gas to Europe, threatening to add to an energy-led inflation spike.

Market commentators said the coming hours would determine the direction for energy costs.

They warned that any move towards sanctions and, worse, military conflict would tip oil and gas prices up sharply because of Russia’s hold over European supplies.

The continent currently relies on Russia for more than 40% of its natural gas – with costs already reeling from weak stocks that have pushed UK energy bills to record levels, with the promise of worse to come in April and beyond already.

Stock markets in Asia were the first to react to the uncertainty created by Russia’s strategic move on Ukraine.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down by almost 3% while Japan’s Nikkei shed 2%.

In London, the FTSE 100 opened 1.5% down led by banking and travel-related stocks. The DAX in Frankfurt was 2.5% off in early trading.

US futures showed the S&P 500 on course to open 2.4% lower as the implications of the Russian action evolved.

The tech-focused Nasdaq was seen opening almost 4% off.

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Column of unmarked military vehicles near Donetsk

Russia’s rouble-linked stock market, the MOEX, was 7% down – building on sharp losses witnessed on Monday.

Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote: “The latest turn of events narrows the chances of a Russian pullback, and the window for diplomacy is almost shut.

“The US ordered new sanctions on Russia and the new Russian-backed republics; Europeans pledged to respond as well. This is the worst escalation since the Cold War.”

She added: “The risk off mode will likely stay on for the coming hours, but at this point it’s hard to predict what’s next.

“Any positive news could reverse the bearish action and lead to sudden jumps in risk asset prices, yet a further escalation of tensions, which now became the base case scenario, should further enhance gains in energy, safe haven assets and gold.”


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Lady Raiders return to action at OSU


STILLWATER, Okla. – The Texas Tech Lady Raiders return to action on Saturday when they travel to Gallagher-IBA Arena for a 7 p.m. contest against Oklahoma State.

For the second consecutive year, a pair of Lady Raiders will make their return to Stillwater, as both Bryn Gerlich and Vivian Gray both played for the Cowgirls.


Texas Tech (9-13, 2-9 Big 12) at Oklahoma State (7-14, 2-10 Big 12)
DATE: February 12, 2022
LOCATION: Gallagher-IBA Arena (Stillwater, Okla.)


Texas Tech fell to No. 16 UT 61-56 on Wednesday night. Despite cutting a once nine-point UT lead to just two twice, the Lady Raiders fell. Gerlich capped the 9-2 run with a 3-pointer with 1:19 to play. Texas answered with a layup by Lauren Ebo but Gray hit a jumper that brought Tech to within 58-56. On the ensuing possession, the Lady Raiders forced a stop, but Rori Harmon secured a key offensive rebound with fewer than 30 seconds to play. The board forced Tech to foul.  UT hit one-of-two from the line, setting up one last possession for Tech to tie with a three. On the ensuing 3-point attempt, Lexy Hightower was blocked. Gray finished with a game-high 20 points.


OSU enters Saturday’s contest with a bit of momentum after snapping an eight-game losing streak on Wednesday. The Cowgirls rolled past TCU 76-47. OSU outscored TCU 47-23 after leading by just five at the break. Lauren Fields scored 25 points and hit five of OSU’s 10 triples, while Taylen Collins added 14. Fields is now averaging 16.7 points this season. Fields is the only Oklahoma State player averaging in double-figures. Collins is averaging 9.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. 


The Lady Raiders close a two-game road swing through the State of Oklahoma at OU on Wednesday night. Tip-off from Norman is set for 6 p.m.



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Nets vs. Suns – Game Recap – February 1, 2022


PHOENIX — — Every opposing team knows that Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker can score points in bunches. They also know about Chris Paul‘s elite passing and mid-range game, along with Deandre Ayton‘s low-post scoring ability.

Then there’s Mikal Bridges. He’s a No. 4 option that makes this arguably the deepest team in the NBA.

Booker scored 35 points, Bridges added a season-high 27 and the league-leading Suns extended their winning streak to 11 games by beating the Brooklyn Nets 121-111 on Tuesday night.

“What helps us is we just have a complete team,” Paul said. “You can’t key in on one or two guys. If people try to do that with me or Booker, Mikal can get hot…”

“That’s what makes us good. On any given night, anybody can get going.”

The Suns (41-9) continued their best start to a season in franchise history and have two double-digit winning streaks this season. They also won 18 games in a row from Oct. 30 to Dec. 2.

Phoenix has made winning look easy for much of the season. Booker said that’s not the case.

“This league is not simple,” Booker said. “Guarding Kyrie (Irving) 1-on-1 is not simple. So it’s something you have to lock in to. It takes a lot of hard work and effort. But having those experiences that we’ve had together, it helps a lot.”

Bridges scored a season high for a second straight game. The lanky 6-foot-6 forward had 26 points against the Spurs on Sunday and was arguably even better against the Nets, shooting 10 of 14 from the field and adding eight rebounds and four assists. It’s the kind of performance the Suns envisioned when they signed him to a four-year, $90 million extension during the offseason.

The Suns took a 91-82 lead into the fourth quarter and never trailed. Paul finished with 20 points and 14 assists. Cam Johnson had 16 points off the bench.

Brooklyn has lost five straight. Irving led the Nets with 26 points while James Harden had 22. Blake Griffin scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting off the bench.

Irving was playing just his ninth game of the season and all of them have been on the road. The star guard remains one of the few unvaccinated players in the NBA and due to COVID-19 mandates in New York City concerning public arenas, he’s not permitted to play in home games.

The Suns jumped out to a 39-29 lead by the end of the first quarter after shooting 71.4% from the field. Booker scored 14 points after making his first six shots from the field.

“We had opportunities,” Harden said. “We need to get off to a better start. That first quarter really hurt us. I felt like the last three quarters we were really pretty good.”

Said Brooklyn coach Steve Nash: “That is a high-level team playing the best basketball in the league, a lot of momentum, great crowd. Other than giving up 39 in the first quarter and getting them in the bonus early in the fourth and some loose balls, we matched them for large stretches.”

Paul made a driving layup as the second quarter buzzer sounded to give the Suns a 65-58 halftime advantage. Paul had nine points and 10 assists in the first half. Harden led the Nets with 15 points before the break.


Nets: Irving averaged 24.5 points and 5.1 rebounds over his first eight games this season. … Among those who missed the game: F Kevin Durant (left knee MCL sprain), F LaMarcus Aldridge (left ankle sprain) and F Joe Harris (left ankle surgery). … Nash won both of his MVPs as a player with the Suns.

Suns: Ayton returned after missing the past seven games with an ankle injury. He had 12 points and six rebounds. … F Jae Crowder was back after missing four games and scored three points … Guards Landry Shamet (right ankle sprain) and Cameron Payne (right wrist sprain) were out. … Hosted a sellout crowd at Footprint Center for a 12th straight game. … Have a 31-0 record when leading after three quarters.


Nets: Travel to face the Kings on Wednesday.

Suns: Travel to face the Hawks on Thursday.



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