Saudi facilities attack jumps Brent crude to over $70 for first time
Brent crude futures surged above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, while U.S. crude touched its highest in more than two years, following reports of attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities. Brent crude futures for May hit $71.38 a barrel in early Asian trade, the highest since Jan. 8, 2020, and were at $71.11 a barrel by 0255 GMT, up $1.75, or 2.5%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for April rose $1.60, or 2.4%, to $67.69. The front-month WTI price touched $67.98 a barrel earlier, the highest since October 2018. Asian stocks also rose after the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill while positive economic data from the United States and China bode well for a global economic rebound. Yemen’s Houthi forces fired drones and missiles at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry on Sunday, including a Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura vital to petroleum exports, in what Riyadh called a failed assault on global energy security. “We could see further upside in the market in the near-term, particularly as the market probably now needs to be pricing in some sort of risk premium, with these attacks picking up in frequency,” ING analysts said in a report, noting that this was the second attack this month following an incident in Jeddah on March 4.