TOKYO (Reuters) – Brent crude led oil prices higher on Thursday, extending gains into a third day after Saudi Arabia suspended crude shipments through a strategic Red Sea shipping lane and as data showed U.S. inventories fell to a 3-1/2 year low. FILE PHOTO: Flames are seen at the production facility of Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah oilfield in the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo Brent crude futures had risen 42 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $74.35 a barrel by 0648 GMT, after gaining 0.7 percent on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 5 cents at $69.35 a barrel, after climbing more than 1 percent in the previous session. “The announcement this morning that the Saudis have closed some shipping lanes in the Gulf because of rebel Houthi attacks also gives the bulls something to launch off,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, also pointing to the drop in U.S. inventories. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, said on Thursday that it was “temporarily halting” all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb after an attack on two big oil tankers by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement.… continue reading
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