Russia Ukraine, currencies and oil

SINGAPORE — U.S. crude was up more than 6%, and shares in Asia-Pacific were set to open mixed on Monday as investors monitor the Russia-Ukraine crisis and related sanctions.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were 6.2% higher at $97.27 per barrel in Asia trade.

International benchmark Brent crude crossed the $100 level last week, even touching $105 before paring gains. It last traded at $102.90 per barrel.

Spot gold, traditionally a safe haven in times of uncertainty, last traded at $1,913.59, rising 1.38%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures were mixed, pointing to a higher open of 26,970 in Osaka and a lower open of 26,470 in Chicago. The index closed at 26,476.50 on Friday.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia was up 0.33% in early trade.

Elsewhere, Taiwan markets are closed for a holiday on Monday.

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Global markets were volatile last week following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. U.S. stocks climbed before closing on Friday, but futures were falling in overnight trade on Sunday.

Russia continued its advance into Ukraine over the weekend, with reports of fighting on the streets and forces encircling Kyiv.

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday put his country’s deterrence forces, which reportedly include nuclear capabilities, on high alert in response to international backlash to Russia’s invasion.

The U.S. and its allies announced new sanctions and measures to hit Russia, such as removing selected Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT.

Many countries have also said they will close their airspace to Russian aircraft.

On the diplomatic front, representatives from the Ukraine and Russian governments have agreed to meet at the Ukraine-Belarus border with “no preconditions,” according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. Belarus, which shares a border with both Ukraine and Russia, has close ties with Moscow.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.221, up from 96.615.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.64, weakening slightly from 115.56, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7181, down from $0.7232.

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