19-09-2021 08:58 AM Jerusalem Timing

Oil Hits Nine-Month High near $115 on Iraq Crisis

Oil Hits Nine-Month High near $115 on Iraq Crisis

Brent crude oil hit a nine-month high near $115 a barrel on Friday as the United States threatened military action against militants who have taken towns and cities in Iraq, raising concerns over its oil exports.

Iraq oilBrent crude oil hit a nine-month high near $115 a barrel on Friday as the United States threatened military action against militants who have taken towns and cities in Iraq, raising concerns over its oil exports.

Brent hit a session peak of $114.69 a barrel, its highest since September. The contract was up $1.00 at $114.02 by 08:30 GMT. It gained more than $3 on Thursday.

U.S. crude touched an intraday high of $107.68, also a nine-month high, and was up 75 cents at $107.28, extending the previous session's $2.13 gain.

Brent was set for gains of more than 5 percent this week, the biggest weekly rise since July 2013, while U.S. crude was on track for its biggest jump since December.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) sought to play down fears over the possible loss of oil exports from Iraq, saying in its monthly Oil Market Report that supplies did not appear to be at risk for the moment.

Investors were also worried that violence in Iraq could disrupt oil supplies from the second-largest OPEC producer.

Analysts say oil markets are finely balanced at the moment and another significant blow to supply could push up prices even further.

The IEA said on Friday that OPEC would need to produce one million barrels per day (bpd) more oil on average in the second half of 2014 to balance the global market, which will see a steep seasonal spike in demand.

Overshadowed was U.S. data which showed retail sales rose less than expected in May and first-time applications for jobless benefits increased last week.

China's industrial output rose 8.8 percent in May from a year earlier, while retail sales rose 12.5 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said, matching forecasts and helping assure markets of a stable Chinese demand outlook.