Oil prices rise 4% after US-led airstrikes in Yemen

Oil field. [File Photo]

Crude oil prices have gained more than 4% after the US and UK carried out a series of strikes on Houthis in Yemen in response to the latter’s attacks on ships traversing the Red Sea, as reported by Russian TV network RT on Friday.

Global benchmark Brent futures had risen by 4.08% to trade at $80.52 per barrel as of around 11:30 GMT. The US benchmark WTI was up 4.17% to about $75 per barrel.

Both benchmarks were adding to gains of nearly 1% during the previous trading session, putting them on track for a second straight weekly rise, the reprot said.

On Friday, Houthi spokesman Abdulsalam Jahaf claimed that Washington and London had launched attacks on Yemen, striking the cities of Sanaa, Hodeidah, among others. US President Joe Biden subsequently confirmed the strikes, adding that they were in response to Houthi militant attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

“These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most critical commercial routes,” Biden said in a statement.

The Yemen-based Houthis have been attacking commercial cargo ships in the Red Sea since October to show support for Palestine, where Israel has killed more than 23,000 people so far.

As a result, the key Asia-to-Europe trade route that accounts for nearly 15% of global shipping traffic has been disrupted.

Several global shipping giants have begun diverting their vessels away from the Red Sea for the foreseeable future, sending them instead on the longer journey around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. The rerouting has sent container freight rates skyrocketing.

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