Oil Prices Reaching Their Highest Since 2014 on U.S.-Iran Tension

Oil rose to its highest level since late 2014 in Asia-Pacific trading amid rising tension between the U.S. and Iran, according to an article in the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, global stocks are firming in the wake of Friday’s U.S. jobs report that reassured markets on the risks of faster rate rises by the Federal Reserve. News that Nestlé is paying $7.15bn for the rights to market products of Starbucks has also buoyed sentiment for equities in European trading. Wall Street futures are indicating a positive opening for the S&P 500 of around 0.4 percent.

The moves for oil prices came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned on Sunday that President Donald Trump would be making a “historic” mistake if the U.S. were to withdraw from its 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. Trump has threatened to abandon the deal, under which Iran shut down its nuclear activities. U.S. sanctions waivers expire on May 12.

Brent crude, which has also benefited from a lift in U.S. demand and OPEC supply cuts this year, was rising 0.9 percent to $75.53 a barrel after earlier reaching $75.89, its highest level since November 2014. U.S. marker West Texas Intermediate gained 0.9 percent to $70.35 a barrel on Monday, also its highest since late 2014. Energy stocks were also higher. Chinese oil company CNOOC climbed 3.1 percent in Hong Kong to its highest since 2015. The energy segment added 1.6 percent in Japan, and in Europe, the Stoxx 600 oil and gas sector is up 0.5 percent.

Equities European stocks on the Euro Stoxx 600 are 0.2 percent higher as Frankfurt’s Xetra Dax climbs 0.4 percent. The London market is closed for a bank holiday. Asia equities were led higher by big gains in China after a positive lead from Wall Street on Friday when U.S. jobs and wage growth narrowly missed forecasts but Apple surged after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed an increased stake in the group.

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