Crude Oil Hits $72, Highest in Three Years over Middle East Tensions

The price of crude oil Wednesday rose to $72 per barrel, its highest in more than three years, after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh, worsening tensions in the Middle East. Also comments by the U.S. President Donald Trump, who Wednesday warned Russia that missiles “will be coming,” in Syria after a suspected chemical attack, also affected the global oil market. Reuters reported that the fallout from new U.S. sanctions on Moscow have rattled investors and fears of military action were stoked after one of Russia’s ambassadors reiterated it would shoot down any U.S. missiles fired at Syria. Trump, who has criticised Russia for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, shot back in a message on Twitter early Wednesday. “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’,” he wrote in the post. “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” he added. With the markets reacting, oil prices rose to their highest in more than three years after Trump’s latest comments. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.43 per cent to $67.10 per barrel while Brent closed at $72.50, up 2.06 per cent on the day.