Wednesday 26 June 2019 11:51 am

Oil price rises on lower US stockpiles

Oil prices jumped today on the back of news that US crude inventories had fallen by more than expected.

International benchmark Brent crude was up 1.2 per cent to $65.87 per barrel, after reaching highs of $66.24 earlier in the day.

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The US reduced the number of barrels it has stockpiled by 7.5m last week to 474.5m, new data showed today.

This was significantly ahead of analysts’ forecasts that stores would shed 2.5m barrels.

It comes after two weeks of upward pressure on oil prices from tensions in the Middle East.

On Monday, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo announced new sanctions against Iran after it lost one of its drones to an Iranian missile.

Yesterday US President Donald Trump threatened to obliterate some parts of Iran if it attacked “anything American”.

However, the President struck a more conciliatory tone last week when he called off a retaliation because it would have claimed 150 lives.

Iran claimed the drone had invaded its airspace, while the US said it was above international waters in the Strait of Hormuz.

Traders are now looking ahead to a meeting of oil-producing cartel Opec early next week.

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The organisation cut output earlier this year in a bid to sure up faltering global oil prices.

The cartel’s members are widely expected to extend the cuts when they meet on Monday and Tuesday.