Oil prices rose on Monday with international Brent crude futures opening above $70 per barrel for the first time since January.
Prices were lifted by expectations that OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia may extend supply cuts into 2019, as well as concerns that the United States may re-introduce sanctions against Iran.
In Asia, meanwhile, Monday saw the launch of Shanghai crude oil futures , potentially marking the dawn of a new oil price benchmark to rival dominant Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI).
Brent crude futures were at $70.74 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $66.06 a barrel at 0157 GMT, from their previous close.
“Oil prices are on the ups driven by rising geopolitical risk in the Middle East,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
“President Donald Trump continues to suggest the U.S. will pull out from (the) Iran nuclear deal, which raises the spectre of bringing back sanctions on the country and severely limiting Tehran’s ability to export crude oil,” Innes told Reuters.