Brent oil futures topped $85 a barrel for the first time since October 2018, the latest milestone in a global energy crunch that has seen prices soar. Crude futures have jumped in recent weeks as natural gas prices hit records.
On Thursday, the International Energy Agency said the crisis is spilling into oil markets and could add 500,000 barrels a day to demand in the coming months. That is deepening inventory draws as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies only gently ease output restraints.
Spiraling prices of everything from oil and gas to coal are boosting global inflation and posing a challenge to policymakers. While it helps raise the revenue of producing countries, it risks slowing down economies that are emerging from a pandemic-driven slump. Bank of America Corp. has even talked up the prospect of crude hitting $100 a barrel. Brent futures rose as much as 1.3% to $85.07 a barrel by 8:53 a.m. London time.
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