Oil Prices Finish Higher

Oil prices finished higher on Monday, as investors watched an increasingly complicated situation in the Persian Gulf after Iran late last week seized a British-flagged tanker, MarketWatch reported.

“The latest ratcheting up of tensions in the Persian Gulf with the seizure of a U.K. oil tanker has only led to a nominal gain in [West Texas Intermediate crude] though, as would be expected, a firmer gain in Brent,” said Marshall Steeves, energy markets analyst at IHS Markit.

“So far, these events have not shut the Strait [of Hormuz] and the impact on oil exports has been muted,” he told MarketWatch. “If that changes and exports are significantly constrained, then a more substantial oil rally would be the result.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery rose $0.59, or 1.1%, to settle at $56.22 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on the contract’s expiration day. The August contract settled 7.6% lower last week. September WTI oil, which is now the front-month contract, also settled at $56.22, up $0.46 or 0.8%.

Brent crude for September delivery, the global benchmark, added $0.79, or 1.3%, to finish at $63.26 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. The contract slid 6.4% last week.

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