LONDON (Reuters) – Escalating tension in the Middle East is driving up oil prices, a huge import cost for many economies, putting more strain on global growth already hurt by the trade war being waged by U.S. President Donald Trump and weakening consumer confidence.
Crude oil prices spiked more than 4% after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, just a month after strikes on tankers in the United Arab Emirates and oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia.
Trump - Trade - War - China - Attention
Trump, meanwhile, has been fighting a trade war against China and is beginning to turn his attention to other trading partners, a policy likely to raise the chances of a recession both at home and abroad.
Global growth is already under threat from the trade war, slumping demand, Brexit and wider geopolitical uncertainty.
Thing - Problem
The last thing it needs is another serious problem.
“Adding to the ubiquitous trade tensions, an increasingly uncertain situation in the Middle East is arising after U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers,” UniCredit economists told clients.
Pompeo - US - Government - Iran - Attacks
Pompeo said the U.S. government believes Iran is behind the latest attacks, fuelling fears of a new confrontation between the two countries. Tehran has bluntly denied the allegation.
“We’re seeing markets broadly in the...
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