Oil hits two-week high on share market recovery, Middle East tensions

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices hit their highest level in nearly two weeks on Monday, lifted by a global equity market recovery and tensions in the Middle East, although concerns of rising U.S. production tempered gains. European shares rose for a fourth straight session, with global stocks set for a sixth session of gains, following a sell-off triggered by fears of creeping inflation and higher borrowing costs. Brent crude LCOc1 was up 37 cents at $65.21 a barrel at 1034 GMT, after rising to an 11-day high of $65.45 a barrel earlier in the session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery CLc1 was up 54 cents at $62.22 a barrel, after earlier gaining as much as 1.4 percent to its highest since Feb. 7. “Benign stock markets are providing … as are geopolitical tensions in the Middle East,” Commerzbank said in a note. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel could act against Iran itself, not just its allies in the Middle East, after border incidents in Syria brought the Middle East foes closer to direct confrontation. Trading is expected to be slower than usual on Monday due to market holidays in the United States… continue reading

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