Oil prices rose on Monday, boosted by escalating tensions around Iran’s nuclear program and better-than-expected U.S. jobs data, Reuters writes.
Brent crude futures were up 34 cents by 0908 GMT at $64.57. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up 18 cents at $57.69 a barrel.
“The weekend was dominated by Iran, with the announcement that uranium enrichment had breached JCPOA limits being greeted by a chorus of warnings from European states not to push enrichment too far,” Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.
Tehran said on Sunday it will soon boost its uranium enrichment above a limit set by a 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
President Donald Trump, who pulled the United States out of the deal last year, warned Iran to be careful.
“If you enrich for one reason and I won’t tell you what that reason is but it’s no good. They’d better be careful,” he said.
Recent incidents involving oil tankers in the Mideast Gulf as well as the seizure in Gibraltar of a tanker carrying Iranian oil, also supported prices, Reuters adds.
“Tensions in the Middle East continued to offer support … after Iran threatened to capture a British ship as retribution for UK forces seizing an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar,” Cantor Fitzgerald said in a note.
According to Reuters, a strong U.S. economic data also put a floor under prices. U.S. job growth rebounded strongly in June, with government payrolls surging, the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report showed on Friday, suggesting May’s sharp slowdown in hiring was probably a one-off.