Oil traded above $97 a barrel Thursday after attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions and the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya sparked new worries about unrest in the Middle East.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude was up 25 cents at $97.26 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 16 cents Wednesday to end at $97.01 per barrel in New York.
In London, Brent crude was down 8 cents at $115.25 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died after an attack on the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi on Tuesday. The attack in Libya came hours after a mob stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down the U.S. flag. On Thursday, protesters stormed the American embassy in Yemen.
Analysts said the while impact of the attacks on oil prices had been subdued thus far, risks were on the rise.
"The fact that all of this is occurring without a price impact on oil shows that a geopolitical premium is already priced in," said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix in Switzerland. "We need however to keep in mind that due to the sanctions on Iran there is absolutely no room for another disruption in any oil producing country."
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