Oil jumped toward $70 a barrel in London after a U.S. airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump killed a top Iranian general in Iraq, intensifying fears of conflict in the world’s most important crude-producing region.
Brent futures surged by more than 4% in busy trading on Friday to levels not seen since the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities in September. The airstrike near Baghdad airport killed Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general who led the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force, according to a U.S. Defense Department statement.
Brent crude for March settlement climbed as much as $2.91, or 4.4%, to $69.16 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded at $68.62 as of 9:59 a.m. London time.
West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil WTI for February delivery was 3.6% higher at $63.36 a barrel, after advancing as much as 4.4% to the highest level since May. Total aggregate volume for Brent and WTI was about 10 times the 30-day average.