Oil prices rise amid concerns of US-Iran military conflict

Fox Business

Oil prices were rising Friday morning after a report that President Trump nearly ordered retaliatory strikes against Iran for shooting down an unmanned U.S. aerial drone, which the White House said was flying in international airspace.

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West Texas Intermediate rose about 53 cents, or 0.93 percent, to approximately $57.60 per barrel. The U.S. benchmark is up about 10 percent for the week. On Thursday, prices surged more than 5 percent — its biggest gain since Dec. 26, 2018 .

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Brent crude, the European benchmark, was up about 93 cents, or 1.44 percent, to roughly $65.38 as of 7:30 a.m. ET. Prices are up more than 6 percent for the week as the Trump administration and Iranian regime trade accusations about their military activity in the Persian Gulf.

Brent crude and WTI crude rose 4.3 percent and 5.4 percent respectively on Thursday after Iranian military forces said they had shot down the drone for violating its airspace. The action led President Trump to warn on Twitter that Iran had “made a very big mistake.”

The Trump administration planned retaliatory strikes against Iran, but abruptly called off the attacks, Fox News reported. While multiple reports early Friday said the strikes would have targeted Iranian missile installation, U.S. officials have declined to comment on the situation.

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Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have risen in recent months after the Trump administration withdrew from a 2015 nuclear accord and slapped sanctions on the country’s oil exports. U.S. military officials have accused Iran of disrupting oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, including strikes against two oil tankers in the region earlier this month. Iran has denied responsibility.

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