Monday, January 4, 2016 10:14 am
Oil prices jumped as Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shi’ite Muslim cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr at the weekend spurred regional anger and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Riyadh cut ties with Iran after protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
Global benchmark Brent futures, which fell 35 percent last year due to fear of over-supply in a global slowdown, gained as much as 3.3 percent to $38.50 per barrel, the highest in about three weeks.
It may be too early for oil exporters, such as Nigeria, to think the upswing will last as market analysts believe the product will remain under pressure because of the glut.
Producers including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and the United States pump between 0.5-2.0 million barrels of oil every day in excess of demand.