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Oil futures mark highest finish since August 2014, up nearly 9% for the month

Oil futures finished at a more than seven-year high on Monday, with U.S. prices ending higher for a third straight month, on the back of tougher global sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine. "Traders are reacting more to the risk of a disruption than an actual disruption" to oil supplies, said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management. The price spread between U.S. and global benchmark crude shows that the European energy supply system is at much higher risk of disruption than the North American distribution systems, he said. Still, Cieszynski expects that OPEC+, which meets on Wednesday to decide on April production levels, will want to maintain its "confidence and credibility," which could be "undermined if they are seen as hitting the panic button." West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery CLJ22, +4.18% rose $4.13, or 4.5%, to settle at $95.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the highest front-month finish since late August 2014, according to Dow Jones Market Data. For the month, prices rose 8.6%.


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