Oil prices hit 20-month high after missile attacks targeting Saudi facilities
Brent crude oil jumped more than 2% on Monday following a missile attack on facilities owned by energy giant Aramco in Saudi Arabia, and on optimism about the outlook for demand as the global economy shrinks straightens. The barrel of black gold jumped 2.11% to $ 70.82 a barrel, the highest since May 2019.
A missile and drone attack targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Sunday in an assault claimed by from Yemen Houthi rebels further escalate in six-year conflict.
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The attack on energy giant Aramco’s facilities came as the Saudi-led military coalition bombed Yemen’s Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a after intercepting a separate flurry of drones and missiles cross-border Houthis.
The rise in hostilities underscores a dangerous escalation of the Yemeni conflict between the coalition-backed Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthis, despite renewed US pressure to end the war.
The Saudi Ministry of Defense said it intercepted a drone targeting an oil storage yard in Ras Tanura – one of the world’s largest oil ports – and a ballistic missile targeting Aramco facilities in the city of Dhahran, in eastern Saudi Arabia.
The missile shards fell near a residential complex in Aramco in the city, which is home to thousands of company employees and their families, the energy ministry said.
The attacks caused no casualties or damage, he added, without specifying who was behind them.
Government data released Friday showed the US economy created 379,000 better-than-expected jobs in February.
In oil markets, the announcement by producers that they would increase production less than expected also helped prices reach unthinkable highs just a few months ago, when crude briefly slumped into negative territory then. that the pandemic was hammering global demand.
The decision on Thursday by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to increase production only modestly was a display of “remarkable restraint,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy.
As the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, slowing infections, easing lockdowns and the looming new U.S. stimulus fuel optimism for a faster global recovery, investors increasingly fear that ultra-tight monetary policies. -stimulants – a key pillar of the one-year stock surge – – will be liquidated in the event of spikes in inflation.
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