Benchmark oil contract Brent North Sea briefly surged above $80 a barrel Thursday, hitting its highest level since late 2014 and extending a recent run higher fuelled by tight supply concerns.
European stock markets meanwhile rose as the euro weakened against the dollar, but Wall Street pulled back in early New York trading.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July jumped to $80.18 a barrel in the late European morning — the highest level since November 2014 — after a gain of more than one percent compared with Wednesday’s close.
By mid-afternoon, it had pulled back to $79.65, still 37 cents higher from Wednesday.
Global oil supplies could be hit by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, and also by falling production in crisis-hit Venezuela, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.
Prior to Thursday’s peak oil prices had already been rising thanks to steady demand growth and a landmark deal by oil producing countries, both inside and outside the OPEC cartel, to lower output.