Iraq Conflict on Oil

Oil prices have risen to a nine-month high amid concerns that developments in Iraq may affect global supplies.  Brent crude futures rose 3% to $113.27 per barrel, while US crude gained more than 2% to $106.71, the highest reading for both since September.

Insurgents have taken over two Iraqi cities, prompting the US to say it was considering “all options” to help Iraq.  Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group.

“If this conflict knocked out Iraq as an exporter, that would have significant impact on prices,” said Christopher Bellew, a trader at Jefferies Bache.  The developments have also hurt global stock markets. Shares in the US fell on Thursday and major stock indexes in Asia were also down in early trade on Friday.

BBC News

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