World oil prices hit seven-week high yesterday, up for a seventh straight session as traders fretted over the impact of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
European equities hit a 15-week high and global shares advanced on strong corporate earnings results, while US stocks rose and the closely watched S&P 500 index hit a 2-1/2-month high after briefly paring gains on weak economic data.
Brent September crude jumped $2.70 to $107.86 a barrel by 1646 GMT, having reached $108.18, the highest price since front-month Brent hit $109.36 on May 22.
US August crude was up $2.74 at $92.61 a barrel, having swung from $89.86 to $92.90, the highest front-month intraday price since crude hit $93.01 on May 22.
Please read full story on Page 11
The August US contract expires on Friday.
US September crude was up $2.70 at $92.87 a barrel.
“Prices have climbed ... primarily on the back of geopolitical risks,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch told AFP.
“The conflict in Syria, which has already been underway for 16 months, appears to be escalating. The Iran conflict is also coming into increasingly sharp focus.”
Oil prices had risen on Wednesday, driven also by news of worsening violence in Syria.
PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga told AFP: “Syrian oil production capacity is only around 400,000 barrels per day but when a suicide bomber kills a minister who was a close ally of the ruler of the country, it is inevitable that oil prices go up.”
Spot gold rose to $1,588 an ounce.