Business World

Monday 27 January 2020

Oil hits $70 as Middle East crisis increases

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Oil has surged above $70 a barrel amid escalating tensions in the Middle East following the assassination of one of the Islamic Republic’s most powerful generals.

Futures jumped by another 3pc on Monday as the United States State Department warned of a “heightened risk” of attacks near military bases and energy facilities in Saudi Arabia.

Prices got another boost as President Donald Trump repeated threats of reprisal should Iran “do anything” and vowed heavy sanctions against Iraq if American troops are forced to exit OPEC’s second-biggest producer.

Oil was last this high when Saudi production facilities were attacked in September, knocking out about 5pc of worldwide output.

Brent futures rose as much as 3.1pc, or $2.14, to $70.74 on ICE Futures Europe and were at $70.20 at 05:41 a.m. in London.

The contract surged 3.6pc on Friday.

West Texas Intermediate advanced 2pc to $64.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


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