US, Allies Move Closer to Big Step Against Russia

Investors bracing for a ban on Russian oil imports
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2022 6:05 AM CST
Markets Sink as US, Allies Ready Big Move on Russia
File photo of an idle pump jack.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

It's a familiar story on the world markets Monday: Oil prices keep rising and stocks keep falling. Investors are particularly nervous because the US and its allies appear poised to take a major step against Russia and ban the import of oil and natural gas, reports CNBC. The global benchmark for a barrel of oil reached $130—the highest since 2008—Monday before retreating a bit, notes the Wall Street Journal. When the US markets open, they're expected to quickly go south: The Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were down about 1.5% each in futures trading. For the Dow, that translates to a loss of about 500 points.

"It’s hard to see much in the way of significant upside for stock markets now against a backdrop of continued escalation” in the Ukraine war, said Michael Hewson of CMC Markets. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the US and European allies are discussing a ban on Russian oil. And Nancy Pelosi told Democratic colleagues in a letter that the House is “exploring strong legislation” for such a move, one that she said would “further isolate Russia from the global economy.” Meanwhile, the US may ease sanctions on Venezuela, which could help shore up oil supplies should that happen, per the AP. (More stock market stories.)

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