Crude oil prices climbed above the $65 mark on Friday for the first time since early February and analysts attribute the increase to John Bolton. He’s the outspoken pick by President Trump to be his new U.S. national security adviser.
Why would prices go up over Bolton’s appointment? Because many observers believe it will mean a return to re-imposing sanctions against Iran including those involving Iran’s exporting of oil.
West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.58 to end the day’s trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at $65.88 per barrel for April contracts.
In London, Brent Crude went up $1.54 on the Ice European exchange and settled the day on May contracts at $70.45 per barrel.
Gas prices on the NYMEX ended the day 3 cents lower, settling at $2.569 Mmbtu.
But it was the increase in crude that caught the attention as prices posted their biggest weekly gain since July. New York futures were up 5.7 percent for the week. The increases were attributed on Friday not only to Bolton’s appointment but to the slow draining of a U.S. glut of oil. U.S crude stockpiles finally slipped below the five-year average for the first time since 2014.