Oil prices up 2% as Middle East tensions escalate

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Crude oil prices were up around 2% at trading start on Monday with escalated tensions in the Middle East risking secure crude oil supply from the region.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $70.17 per barrel at 0630 GMT for a 2.3% jump after it closed Friday at $68.60 a barrel with a 3.55% increase in intraday trading.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was trading at $64.31 a barrel for a 2% gain at the same time after ending Friday at $63.05 per barrel with a 3.06% intraday trading rise.

“… Should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner,” U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter late Sunday.

The rising tensions come amid the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, after which Iraq’s parliament also passed a resolution calling on the government to remove all U.S. troops from their country.

Trump told reporters Sunday if the Iraqi government forces the removal of U.S. forces, Baghdad would face “sanctions like they’ve never seen before.”(AA)