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Oil prices were slightly down early on Monday after Russia fired missiles on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for the first time in weeks while the battle in eastern Ukraine rages on.

As of 10:16 a.m. EST on Monday, WTI Crude was down 0.27% at $118.70 and the international benchmark, Brent Crude, traded at $119.67, down 0.13%.

Earlier on Monday, oil prices were supported by Saudi Arabia’s decision to raise its crude prices for Asia for July by more than expected, signaling confidence that oil demand would rebound, especially in China, after two months of lockdowns.  

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, raised the price of its flagship Arab Light grade by $2.10 per barrel for July compared to June, setting the price at $6.50 per barrel over the Oman/Dubai benchmarks.

The Russian war in Ukraine also continues to influence oil prices, with intense battles in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, which Russia is intent on seizing, and the first Russian missiles targeting the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in more than a month. Life in Kyiv had returned to some kind of normality over the past few weeks, but the Russian bombing was a stark reminder for residents of the capital that Ukraine is at war.

“There hasn’t been a strike on Kyiv in a while, and perhaps most people, including myself, developed a kind of illusion that the worst was behind us. But this was a reminder that the war is still going on,” Kyiv resident Kostyantyn Nikitenko told Euractiv.

According to Kyiv’s mayor Vitali Klitschko, at least one person was hospitalized, although no deaths were immediately reported.

“While someone asks not to humiliate Russia, the Kremlin resorts to new insidious attacks. Today’s missile strikes at Kyiv have only 1 goal - kill as many Ukrainians as possible. Each of such terrorist attacks must face a tough response from European capitals: more sanctions, more weapons,” tweeted Mikhailo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com More