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Downward Trend from Last Week as Oil Prices Falling

Oil prices dipped at the start of the session on Sunday, extending a slide that began last week, as a US source suggested Russia was showing signs of being willing to engage in real talks over Ukraine. By 6:47 p.m. ET, Brent crude futures had fallen $1.82, or 1.6 percent, to $110.85 a barrel. WTI crude futures slid $2.41 to $106.92 a barrel, or 2.2 percent. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in late February, which Moscow describes as a “special operation,” has roiled global energy markets.

Brent was down 4.8 percent last week after peaking at $139.13 for March 7. After reaching a high of $130.50 on March 7, U.S. crude fell 5.7 percent in a week. The last time both contracts reached those price peaks was in 2008. Following Russia’s intervention, investors have expressed anxiety over a tighter Oil market. Last week, prices decreased as traders assessed the possibility of improving the supply outlook, which had been interrupted by the Ukraine situation.

Even though Moscow is keen on “killing” its neighbour, Russia is showing signs of being willing to engage real talks about Ukraine, according to US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. The RIA news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Sunday that discussions between Russia and Ukraine are not taking place right now but will resume on Monday.

Peskov made the remarks after Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych indicated on Sunday that Ukraine and Russia were in active negotiations. On Sunday, Russia said it was banking on China to help it weather the economic impact of Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, but the US warned Beijing not to do so.

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