Oil Keeps Climbing as Middle East Tensions Continue

Oil prices jumped 2% on Thursday as tensions in the Middle East grew, with a Saudi-led coalition launching air strikes in retaliation for recent attacks on its oil infrastructure.

Brent crude futures were up $1.53, or 2.1%, at $73.30 a barrel by 11:58 a.m. (1558 GMT); it touched its highest level in three weeks. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.35, or 2.2%, to $63.37 a barrel.


West Texas Intermediate graph

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday after the Iranian-aligned movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations earlier in the week.


Brent crude graph

“You have a sizable strike on Iran-aligned Houthi forces in Yemen today, so until there’s some kind of stepback from that situation, this market is going to have a tough time trading lower,” said Mizuho director of futures Bob Yawger. “There’s just a lot of political risk in this market.”

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza