OIL JUMPS AS LEBANON EXPLOSION SPARKS FEARS
Oil climbed to the highest level in nearly two weeks after an explosion at Lebanon’s main port rocked the capital Beirut, stoking fears over instability in the region. U.S. benchmark crude futures climbed 1.7 per cent on Monday. Footage showed what appeared to be a fire, then a larger explosion as an enormous cloud of smoke engulfed the area around the Port of Beirut. Authorities say it was caused by highly explosive materials at the port, but didn’t immediately say whether it was an accident or an attack. Meanwhile, analysts’ expectation of a decline in U.S. crude inventory levels in this week’s government report released on Wednesday is also helping to buoy crude prices. “Tensions are high and that just kind of puts a fine point on it,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC.