Oil jumped after the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Futures advanced as much as 3.1 percent in New York and 2.6 percent in London after the Saudi Press Agency announced the death, citing a statement from the royal court. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz will succeed as king, according to state television. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, led OPEC’s decision to maintain its oil-production quota at a meeting in November, exacerbating a global supply glut that’s driven prices lower.
“The passing of King Abdullah is going to increase uncertainty and increase volatility in oil prices in the near term,” Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said by phone. “I wouldn’t expect a change in policy in the near term to be known, but the passing comes at a challenging time for Saudi Arabia.”
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