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Oil prices jump on US tightening, mosque attack

May 31 2015 17:30

New York - Crude prices jumped more than $2.00 Friday amid more signs of US tightening and after another deadly attack on Shiites claimed by Islamic State in the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery rose $2.62 to $60.30 a barrel in New York trade.

In London, Brent crude for July gained $2.98 to $65.56.

The second bomb attack in a week on a Saudi Shiite mosque in the country's oil-rich Eastern Province help spark the price gains.

The attack, which killed three, took place in Dammam, just a few kilometers from both the headquarters of Aramco, the powerful Saudi state oil company, and the crucial Ras Tanura oil terminal and refinery.

US prices were supported by a fall in the Baker Hughes US rig count, suggesting the industry is still cutting back activity.

The US count fell by 13 to 646 active oil drilling rigs. A year ago, the total was 1 536.

That combined with a fall Wednesday in US stockpiles to suggest tighter supplies in the future.

"There was some expectation and some anxiety that the rig count could come out as a positive number today," said Bob Yawger of Mizuho Securities.

"Instead it was down 13. We haven't seen a number that big in a couple of weeks," he said.

commodities  |  markets  |  oil

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