Due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War, Western countries agreed to remove 7 Russian banks from Swift, the financial-messaging infrastructure that underpins the global financial system, but left access open for some others, leaving open a path for energy supply payments.
U.S. and its allies have so far spared energy shipments from Russia, but U.S. lawmakers are pressuring President Biden to target the sector. Even without sanctions in place, refiners have balked at buying Russian oil and banks are refusing to finance shipments of Russian commodities.
U.S. stock indexes fell and bond yields slipped while oil prices rose to their highest level since 2014. The U.S. and other major oil-consuming nations said they would release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency stockpiles.