Oil prices rise more than four percent following news that the US had ordered the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, prompting new fears of a conflict in the oil-rich region, with Tehran warning of retaliation.
The Brent jumped 4.4% to $ 69.16 and the WTI jumped 4.3% to $ 63.84 as investors are increasingly worried about the effects of a possible rise in tension in the Middle East that may cause changes in the supply of the commodity. Both oil contracts reduced their gains as time passed after the news story, but the values continue to be high.
"This is more than a mild provocation to Iran," Stephen Innes of AxiTrader told AFP. "This is an aggressive display of strength and a direct provocation that can trigger another war in the Middle East."
The Soleimani's assassination reaches a dramatic level in escalating tensions between the United States and Iran and comes after a pro-Iranian mob this week besieged the US embassy in Iraq following deadly US air strikes on the Hashed faction.
The embassy attack has unleashed new tensions in the US-Iraqi relationship, with officials from both countries describing the relationship as the "coldest" in recent years.
We must be aware that oil prices had a record increase in September following attacks on two Saudi Arabia facilities that halved the production of the world's leading exporter. Trump blamed Iran for the attack and for other previous explosions in tankers last year in the Gulf.