Oil prices soared more than four percent Friday following claims that the US had killed a top Iranian general, ratcheting up tensions between the foes and fuelling fears of a conflict in the crude-rich region.
The head of Iran's Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, was hit in an attack on Baghdad international airport early Friday, according to Hased, a powerful Iraqi paramilitary force linked to Tehran.
Brent surged 4.4 percent to $69.16 and WTI jumped 4.3 percent to 63.84.
While equity markets turned lower, oil prices surged on news of Soleimani’s death, with global benchmark Brent crude shooting 3.02 percent higher to $68.25 per barrel and US West Texas Intermediate crude jumping 2.75 percent to $62.86 per barrel.
News of the strikes came after US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Thursday there were indications Iran or forces it backs may be planning additional attacks after Iranian-backed demonstrators hurled rocks at the US embassy in Baghdad following American strikes on Sunday against bases of the Tehran-backed Kataib Hezbollah group.
Esper warned that the “game has changed” and it was possible the United States might have to take preemptive action to protect American lives.
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Updated Date: Jan 03, 2020 12:10:42 IST