Oil prices surge after US air strike in Iraq kills senior Iran military chief

10:09, 3 January 2020

Share this article

Have a confidential tip for our reporters?

Oil prices surge after US air strike in Iraq kills senior Iran military chief

Oil prices have surged more than 4 per cent following news that Iran's most powerful military commander has been killed by a US air strike in Iraq.

General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran's elite Quds Force, was killed at Baghdad airport early on Friday in a strike ordered by US President Donald Trump. Top Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the attack.

The Pentagon has confirmed that the US President authorised the strike.

“At the direction of the President, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qassem Soleimani,” a Pentagon statement said.

Markets fear Iran could retaliate by attacking US assets and its allies in the Middle East, which may disrupt oil supplies. According to the Iranian state media, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has pledged “harsh retaliation.”

On his twitter account he declared: “severe revenge awaits the criminals”.

Soleimani was a popular political figure in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by the US and its allies.

As a result of his death, Brent crude – which is the international benchmark – rose nearly $3 in the early hours of Hong Kong trading to $69.16 a barrel. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose by $2.50 to $63.84 a barrel, its highest price since May 1.

At the time of writing Brent crude has settled to $68.63 a barrel.

Read more: Your guide to trading US crude oil spot.

Capital Com is an execution-only service provider. The material provided on this website is for information purposes only and should not be understood as an investment advice. Any opinion that may be provided on this page does not constitute a recommendation by Capital Com or its agents. We do not make any representations or warranty on the accuracy or completeness of the information that is provided on this page. If you rely on the information on this page then you do so entirely on your own risk.

Still looking for a broker you can trust?


Join the 380.000+ traders worldwide that chose to trade with Capital.com

1. Create & verify your account

2. Make your first deposit

3. You’re all set. Start trading