NEW YORK: Oil prices in the international market rose one percent on Thursday on U.S.-Iran military tensions and anticipation of dollar price decline.
The market, however, gave back some gains after an interview by Saudi Arabia’s energy minister with Reuters raised fresh doubts about a potential OPEC output freeze.
Crude futures rallied toward the close after a U.S. defense official said a U.S. Navy ship fired three warning shots after an Iranian fast-attack craft approached two U.S. ships in the northern Gulf on Wednesday.
The United States had reported on Wednesday another incident where it said Iranian vessels harassed a U.S. warship near the Strait of Hormuz earlier this week.
“The reports of confrontation between U.S. and Iran have fanned woes that geopolitical tensions could disrupt oil traffic there,” analysts said.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled up 62 cents, or 1.3 percent, at $49.67 a barrel.
U.S. crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 rose 56 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $47.33.