Oil prices could surge toward $80 a barrel if escalating geopolitical tensions disrupt Middle East crude supplies, analysts told CNBC on Friday, with energy market participants “on tenterhooks” after a U.S. airstrike killed key Iranian and Iraqi military personnel.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $68.65 Friday morning, up more than 3.6%, having earlier spiked to an intraday high of $69.16.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $63.38, over 3.5% higher, paring some of its gains after climbing to $63.84 earlier in the session.
Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani, who led a special forces unit of the Islamic Republic’s elite Revolutionary Guards, was killed in an airstrike at the Baghdad International Airport early on Friday.
The same attack was thought to have killed Iraq’s Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, Reuters reported, citing an Iraqi military spokesperson.
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