Jenny W. Hsu (MarketWatch)
Crude-oil futures jumped after the U.S. launched airstrikes on Syria following this week’s chemical-weapons attack.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May recently traded at $52.80 a barrel, up 2.1% in the Globex electronic session, while June Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 1.9% to $55.94. Prices often jump when tensions rise in the Middle East, where almost 40% of the world’s crude oil is produced.
The possibility of destruction to oil fields and pipelines in the region often stokes concern about a smaller supply. For now, that could be a boon as the market is battling a glut. However, Syria is a tiny oil producer, and unless the airstrikes heighten tension between Russia and the U.S., it won’t significantly affect global oil supply, said Gordon Kwan, the head of gas and oil research at Nomura.