Oil Prices Jump After U.S. Airstrike Kills Top Iranian General
Oil prices on Friday jumped close to $70 per barrel after an Iranian military chief was killed in a military operation conducted by the United States.
This may have raised fears of destabilization and possibly affect global oil output in the region.
Brent crude futures jumped 2.9 per cent to $68.16 per barrel during Asian trading hours on Friday.
CNN reports US oil futures gained 2.8 per cent, reaching $62.86 per barrel. That puts both on pace right now for their biggest daily gains in about a month, according to Refinitiv data.
The Pentagon, U.S. military headquarters, confirmed in a statement that Qasem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, was killed in an airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport, Iraq.
“An indirect response is the most apparent course of action, and oil installations and tankers were my first thoughts,” CNN quoted Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, in a research note.
But he added that it’s hard to tell whether Friday’s surge will be sustained.
Oil prices spiked more than 14 per cent last September in the wake of a devastating attack on the heart of Saudi Arabian oil production, disrupting 5 per cent of the daily global oil supply.
But prices pulled back quickly in the following days after Saudi officials said the kingdom would rely on reserves to keep exports stable.
Meanwhile there has been another airstrike in Baghdad, capital of Iraq, killing and wounding several people, according to a report by CNN.
The news media, quoting Popular Mobilisation Forces, an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organisation composed of some 40 militias that are mostly Shia Muslim groups, said the fresh airstrike targeted convoy of high-profile members of the group.
“The initial report indicates that the strike targeted a convoy belonging to the medical units for the Popular Mobilisation Forces near Taji Stadium in Baghdad,” the PMF said in a statement.
This is coming 24 hours after the United States claimed responsibility for the airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani, deputy leader of PMF.
The new airstrike, though has not been claimed by the U.S., a Reuters report quoting an Iraqi TV, said it was carried out by America.