Daily US Times: Oil prices pulled higher after a top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike at Baghdad’s airport. US President Donald Trump directly ordered the strike.
Analysts warned that the Friday incident could escalate tensions in the middle east, Iran-US relations and also affect the global oil output.
During Asian trading hours on Friday, futures for Brent crude, a global benchmark, jumped 2.9% to $68.16 per barrel. US oil futures gained 2.8%, reaching $62.86 per barrel.
Refinitiv data shows it puts both on pace right now for their biggest daily gains in about a month.
Senior market analyst for the Asia Pacific at Oanda Jeffrey Halley said ‘An indirect response is the most apparent course of action, and oil installations and tankers were my first thoughts’. But he is not sure this surge will be sustained.
Oil prices surged more than 14% last September when Saudi Arabian oil production came under attack. The attack disrupted 5% of the daily global oil supply.
But Saudi took initial steps to keep the exports stable relying on reserves.
Several media reported that major Asian stock indexes reserved earlier gains and traded lower than usual after the airstrike news broke out.
The commander of Iran’s Quds Force and a senior official in Iraq’s paramilitary forces have been killed by US airstike on Friday.
US troops in Iraq targeted Qasem Soleimani , commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force unit vehicle at Baghdad International Airport.
Pentagon confirms his death and said he was killed “at the direction of the president Trump”.
The deputy head of the Iran-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and head of protocol of the PMF were among those killed.
Rockets hit two of PMF vehicles and killed a number of people.
The death considered a huge US success but as well as marks a huge escalation that analysts fear could lead to an Iranian response.
The strike comes days after protesters attacked the US embassy in Baghdad, clashing with US forces at the scene. The US accused Gen Soleimani of being the mastermind behind it.