Published: 2020-01-03 12:29
Last Updated: 2020-01-03 12:52
Brent crude futures jumped nearly $3 on Friday after a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad killed top Iranian and Iraqi military commanders, sparking concerns of disruption to Middle East oil supplies.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 hit an intraday high of $69.16 a barrel, their highest since Sept. 17, before easing to $68.42, up $2.17 or 3.28% by 0806 GMT.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up $1.85 or 3.04% at $63.03 a barrel, having earlier spiked to $63.84 a barrel, their highest since May 1.
"The supply side risks remain elevated in the Middle East and we could see tensions continue to elevate between the U.S. and Iran-backed militia in Iraq," said Edward Moya, analyst at brokerage OANDA, in an e-mail to Reuters.
An airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport early on Friday killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi militia spokesman said.
The killings marked an escalation in the regional "shadow war" between Iran and the United States and sparked Iranian calls for revenge and preparation for further conflict in Iraq.