TOKYO: Petroleum prices jumped to their highest level on Wednesday in months after Iran attacked American forces in Iraq in response to a U.S. strike last week killed an Iranian general, raising the looming threat of a spiraling conflict and disrupting oil supplies.
After the early heat, prices cooled a fraction as analysts said market tension could ease as long as facilities for oil production remain untouched by attacks.
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Brent crude futures rose by around 0207 GMT to $1.56 or 2.3 percent, the highest since mid-September 2019 since earlier growing to $71.75.
West Texas Intermediate oil futures climbed $1.25 to $63.95 a barrel, or 2 percent. It reached a peak of $65.85 earlier, the most since last year’s late April.
Iran’s missile attack on Iraq’s U.S led troops came early on Wednesday, hours after Qassem Soleimani’s funeral, Quds Force’s top officer killed in a U.S. drone strike on Friday, January 3.
More than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian soil were fired by Tehran against at least two Iraqi military bases hosting coalition forces headed by the US, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.
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Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at Sunward Trading in Tokyo said, “It’s getting really intense, but there’s a sense of achievement in terms of technical charts as Brent has risen to over $70/barrel and near a peak in September 2019 after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil sites.”