Oil prices erase gains as Iran downplays reports of Israeli missile attack – OilPrice.com

Oil prices erase gains as Iran downplays reports of Israeli missile attack – OilPrice.com

Oil prices lost almost all of Friday’s gains after an Iranian official told Reuters there had been no missile attack on Iran.

Oil jumped $3 a barrel in Asian trading Friday morning after a U.S. official told ABC News today that Israel launched missile strikes against Iran early in the morning. After briefly climbing above $90 per barrel on Friday morning in Asian trading, Brent fell back to $87.10 per barrel in the morning in Europe.

The news was later confirmed by Iranian media, which said the country’s air defense system had shot down three drones over the city of Isfahan, according to Al Jazeera. Flights to three cities, including Tehran and Isfahan, were suspended, Iranian media also reported.

Israel’s retaliation to Iranian missile strikes last week was seen by most as a guarantee of an escalation of the Middle East conflict since Iran had warned Tel Aviv that if it retaliated, Tehran would do so at turn and that the reprisals would be on a greater scale than expected. missile strikes last week. These developments were naturally seen as strongly bullish for oil prices.

However, hours after unconfirmed reports of an Israeli attack first emerged, Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying that no missile strike had been carried out against Iran. The explosions heard in the major Iranian city of Isfahan were the result of the activation of Iranian air defense systems, the official told Reuters.

Overall, Iran appears to be downplaying the event, with most official comments and news reports not mentioning Israel, Reuters notes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that “there is no damage to Iranian nuclear sites”, confirming Iranian information on the subject.

Isfahan province is home to Iran’s nuclear uranium enrichment site.

“Brent briefly rose above $90 before reversing lower after Iranian media downplayed Israel’s retaliation,” Saxo Bank said in a note published Friday.

Oil prices’ trading range at $5 per barrel over the past week has been driven by traders’ attempts to “quantify the level of risk premium needed to reflect increased tensions, but without impacting supply.” “, the bank said, adding to “expect prices to increase.” before the weekend. »

At the time of writing, Brent was trading at $87.34 and WTI at $83.14.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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