“Tensions in the Middle East are rising,” says Andy Critchlow on BreakingViews, “but that doesn’t mean the oil price has to”. Donald Trump’s missile strike on Syria last week helped boost Brent crude to a four-week high of $56 a barrel. Syrian production is negligible; what worries traders is that its ally Iran, which has been raising output, could retaliate. The US could then insist on further sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Yet Iran’s biggest customers, in Asia, could then keep importing Iranian oil anyway, especially if they are unsettled by US unilateralism, says [...]