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Oil Hits 13Month Highs on Concerns of Middle East Tensions

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Oil prices soared on Monday to their highest in about 13 months as fears of heightened tensions in the Middle East prompted fresh buying, while hopes that a U.S. stimulus and an easing of lockdowns will buoy fuel demand provided support.

Brent crude was up 1.02, or 1.6, at 63.45 a barrel at 0806 GMT, after climbing to a session high of 63.76, the highest since Jan. 22, 2020.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude futures gained 1.28, or 2.2, to 60.75 a barrel. It touched 60.95 its highest since Jan. 8 last year, earlier in the session.

Oil prices gained around 5 last week.

The Saudiled coalition fighting in Yemen said late on Sunday it intercepted and destroyed an explosiveladen drone fired by the Iranaligned Houthi group toward the kingdom, state TV reported, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions.

An early spike in oil markets was triggered by the news, said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at commodities broker Fujitomi Co.

But the rally was also driven by growing hopes that a U.S. stimulus and easing of lockdowns will boost the economy and fuel demand, he said. WTI may be pulled back by profittaking as it reached a key 60 level, he added.

U.S. President Joe Biden pushed for the first major legislative achievement of his term on Friday, turning to a bipartisan group of local officials for help on his 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan.

Oil prices have rallied over recent weeks also as supplies tighten, due largely to production cuts from the Organization…

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