Reuters / Ismail Zitouny

Oil prices jumped after the news of the death of King Abdullah, the leader of OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, added to the uncertainty on the global energy market.

Following the announcement by the Saudi royal court, futures in New York and London rose by 3.1 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

In early Asian trading, US benchmark WTI crude futures increased by over 2 percent, reaching $47.76 per barrel. At the time of publication, oil futures for March were edging closer to $50 per barrel – at $49.3 per barrel.

King Abdullah died early on Friday. His brother Crown Prince Salman, 79, will replace him on the Saudi throne.

“The passing of King Abdullah is going to increase uncertainty and increase volatility in oil prices in the near term,” Neil Beveridge, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst, told Bloomberg. “I wouldn’t expect a change in policy in the near term to be known, but the passing comes at a challenging time for Saudi Arabia.”

According to John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC, “the fear of the unknown is going to be supportive to crude oil prices.”

By RT News
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