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Oil Prices Rise as US-Iran Tensions Continue to Linger

Tensions in the Middle East remain after the U.S. and Iran nearly came to blows last week after Tehran claimed it downed an American drone that violated its airpace, while Washington says it was operating in international airspace.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.140 after slipping from levels above 97.5 last week.

The Trump administration has also accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, near the Strait of Hormuz — a critical transit route for global oil supplies. Iran has strongly denied involvement in the explosions that crippled the tankers.

For his part, Trump said the U.S. is prepared to negotiate with Iran with “no preconditions,” during an interview with NBC. He added he was not looking for war with Tehran, though he warned of “obliteration” if it comes.

Trump also said Saturday that the U.S. would impose “major additional sanctions ” against Iran on Monday.

“I think the chances of a conflict is, in our view, at least 50%. Conflict, not a full war, but a conflict which would disrupt supplies,” Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of Facts Global Energy, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

“We have to remember Iran is a regional superpower … They will strike back one way or the other and I think that the chances of tensions becoming bigger is very, very high in the near future,” said Fesharaki.

Oil prices were sent soaring last week amid the ongoing tensions in the Middle East. In the morning of Asian trading hours, prices continued to tick upward. The international benchmark Brent crude futures contract rose 0.46% to $65.50 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures added 0.71% to $57.84 per barrel.

Oil Prices Rise as US-Iran Tensions Continue to Linger via @MasterMindUpdate
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