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In recent weeks, oil prices have had more contained oscillations, hovering around the mark of US$ 100 a barrel, sometimes retreating slightly, sometimes showing signs of high again.
However, the global geopolitical scenario continues to be full of uncertainties, and the possibility of a rise in the prices of energy commodities, such as oil and natural gas, does not leave investors’ radar.
The main geopolitical event with the potential to push up prices for such products at the present time is, of course, the war in Ukraine. Russia is one of the main exporters of oil and gas in the entire planet, and its biggest customers are European nations that condemn the invasion of Ukrainian territory.
With the persistence of the war, which has lasted 63 days, public pressure is growing for European nations to apply sanctions against the Russian energy sector, which could result in a spike in oil prices.
In addition, on Monday (25), Russia announced the cut off of natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, fulfilling its promise to stop supplies to countries that refused to pay for the commodity in rubles – the currency Russian officer.
More than a demonstration that Vladimir Putin keeps his promises, the measure is a response to the growing logistical and financial support of Western nations to Ukraine, which has already received billions of dollars in weapons and supplies from the United States and European nations.
In addition to the war, it is important to pay attention to the “zero covid” policy in China and its impact on the demand for oil products. With strict lockdowns being implemented in large urban centers in the world’s most populous country, global demand for fuel has eased, which has helped to contain the rise in oil prices.
However, if the Beijing government adopts a stance similar to that of Western nations and chooses to relax restrictive measures against the virus, the resumption of demand in the country could result in a new appreciation of the barrel of oil.
On the other hand, an event that may contribute to reducing the price of the commodity is the re-establishment of the nuclear agreement with Iran, since the lifting of sanctions against the country would imply a significant increase in the global supply of oil. However, negotiations appear to have stalled in the final stages, and Iranian officials accuse the US government of having no interest in resuming the deal.
Thus, in the short term, an abrupt appreciation of oil is more likely due to the imposition of sanctions on Russia or the full resumption of demand in China, which makes the present moment favorable for investment in oil and gas companies.
In the specific case of Brazil, however, care must be taken with this sector, given the risk of changes in Petrobras’ pricing policy (PETR4).
Read on ‘Investigating the Market’ (exclusively for UOL Investimentos subscribers): information about the results of Banco Santander Brasil in the first quarter of this year.
Levante’s Chief Strategist and Founding Partner
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