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Oil prices surge above $70 after Saudi Arabia attacked

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Brent crude futures surged above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. This followed reports of attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities.

U.S. crude also touched its highest in more than two years,

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.

Brent and WTI prices are up for the fourth consecutive session after OPEC and its allies decided to keep production cuts largely unchanged in April.

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