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Oil Jumps as Iran Tanker Blast Spurs Fresh

Supply Fears

Oil jumped back above $60 a barrel after a reported explosion on an Iranian tanker near the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah reignited fears that unrest in the Middle East threatens global supply.

Futures jumped by almost $1 a barrel after the Islamic Republic News Agency reported a National Iranian Oil Company tanker caught fire after a blast, taking the day’s gains to more than 2%. Prices were already higher after U.S. President Donald Trump said talks with Chinese counterparts are going “really well” and that they will continue on Friday, offering a glimmer of hope for global demand.

The tanker explosion will spur fresh concern about potential conflict in the world’s most important crude-producing region after attacks on ships and drones earlier this year, and most recently a strike on Saudi Arabian energy infrastructure. Oil is still down about 19% from its peak in April as the prolonged U.S.-China dispute adds to a bleak economic outlook.

“.See also: Oil Market Next Year ‘a Mess’ for Shale Drillers, Seaport SaysKey Saudi Arabian oil-processing facilities were attacked on Sept. 14, a strike that curbed about 5% of global output and was blamed on Iran. In July, a U.S. ship down an Iranian drone, while oil tankers have been targeted in the Persian Gulf.