Oil’s wild ride continued as the U.S. warned Iran may attack Saudi Arabia again following the American assassination of one of the Islamic Republic’s most powerful generals.
Crude futures jumped for a second day, rising to just shy of $70 a barrel in London, as the U.S. State Department said there’s “heightened risk” of missile attacks near military bases and energy facilities in Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of disruptions in the world’s most important oil-producing region.
The killing reverberated through Middle Eastern markets, sending stocks nosediving and setting the tone for what’s likely to be a volatile week. Saudi Aramco tumbled 1.7% on Sunday to the lowest since it started trading last month. On Friday, crude surged, American workers began to withdraw from Iraqi fields and traders scrambled to position themselves for higher prices as concerns rose over direct conflict between the U.S. and Iran.
Oil continued to advance in early Asian trading Monday after surging more than 4% in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. London’s Brent jumped almost 2%, or $1.35, to $69.95 on ICE Futures Europe and was at $69.61 at 7:07 a.m. in Singapore. West Texas Intermediate rose 1.4% to $63.92 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Rising tensions between the U.S and Iran have already caused unprecedented disruptions to oil markets, but so far they’ve been short-lived. Last year, Washington blamed Tehran for sabotage attacks on supertankers and a missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq crude-processing plant in September -- the largest single supply halt in the industry’s history.
Source : Bloomberg