May to chair Cobra meeting over Iran tanker crisis as oil prices rise
The price of oil rose this morning ahead of a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee, as markets react to tensions caused by Iran’s seizure of a British tanker in the Gulf.
Read more: Iranian seizure of tanker constitutes illegal interference, UK tells UN
Brent crude rose 1.3 per cent to $63.28 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate ticked up 0.8 per cent to $56.23.
On Friday Iranian forces stormed the Stena Impero after Tehran said it had violated international maritime rules.
The incident has deepened tensions between Iran and the west, and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned of “serious consequences” if the tanker is not released.
But Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said the movement in oil prices was only modest.
“There is not the same impact from one-off events like this – the oil market is not as susceptible to shocks that it once was,” he said. “That said, if we had a real crisis that blocked the Strait of Hormuz, we’d definitely see higher prices.”
Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee this morning to discuss the crisis.
May will receive updates from ministers and officials as they discuss potential measures for maintaining security in the area.
Read more: Jeremy Hunt warns Iran of serious consequences over seizure of British-flagged oil tanker
Hunt is due to make a statement to MPs later today to outline what action the government will take.
Main image credit: Getty