Oil markets calmed on Wednesday after prices had jumped to their highest in months in the wake of a rocket attack by Iran on American forces in Iraq that raised the specter of a spiraling conflict and disrupted crude supplies.
Prices gave up a large part of their gains after the early surges as analysts said market tension could ease as long as oil production facilities remain unaffected by attacks. Tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump and Iran’s foreign minister also appeared to signal a period of calm - for now.
Brent crude futures were up 97 cents, or 1.4%, to $69.24 by around 0403 GMT, after earlier rising to $71.75, the highest since mid-September 2019.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 82 cents, or 1.3%, to $63.52 a barrel. It earlier reached a high of $65.85, the most since late April last year.
Iran’s missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq came early on Wednesday, hours after the funeral of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the country’s elite Quds Force killed in a U.S. drone stroke on Jan. 3.
Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S.-led coalition personnel, the U.S. military said on Tuesday. Stock, currency and gold markets were also roiled by the attacks. [MKTS/GLOB]
Trump said in a tweet that an assessment of casualties and damage from the strikes was under way and that he would make a statement on Wednesday morning U.S. time. “All is well!” Trump said in the Twitter post.
PUKmedia \ Reuters