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Crude prices rise on Iraq worries

2014-08-08 08:35 Xinhua Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Crude prices gained Thursday as violence escalated in Iraq, the second largest crude producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Militants of the Islamic State continued fierce clashes with Iraqi security forces in several Iraqi provinces. Iraq is the second biggest oil exporter in the OPEC after Saudi Arabia, exporting about 2.5 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The lingering geopolitical concerns in Ukraine also supported the crude prices. Russia is an important oil production country, and most of Russian crude and gas exports to Europe pass through Ukraine.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that Russia is imposing a ban on food imports from the European Union and the United States in retaliation for their sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

A day earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning or limiting the import of agricultural products from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Light, sweet crude for September delivery moved up 42 cents to settle at 97.34 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery gained 85 cents to close at 105.44 dollars a barrel.

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