Brent oil traded at the highest level since 2014

The threat came after the Russian ambassador to Lebanon said his nation's military would intercept American missiles and potentially target the US craft that fired them. The potential American strike follows a chemical attack on the rebel-held city Douma, allegedly by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The latest Middle East-related political risk factor is related to events in Syria, where a military confrontation may be brewing with the U.S. on the one side and Russia, Syria and Iran on the other. Brent crude futures were at $71.98 per barrel down 8 cents from their last close.

The worldwide benchmark reached as much as $73.09 per barrel - its highest level since November 28, 2014.

United States crude oil inventories rose by 3.3-million barrels to 428.64-million barrels.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) climbed as high as $67.42 a barrel, marking its highest level since December 4, 2014.

Oil prices jumped to a three-year high early Friday morning.

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"That's the crux of the matter. Is it a pin prick or is it something that sets us up for escalation?" The Energy Information Administration will also release its monthly short-term energy outlook report Tuesday and weekly US petroleum-supply data Wednesday.

And as long as geopolitical tensions - especially in the Middle East - continues to linger, it'll help to underpin oil prices further in the coming days.

The Saudi-led invasion of Yemen has contributed to oil's geopolitical risk premium, as Houthis target Saudi oil assets. The attacks mark the fourth time in five months that missiles have flown over Riyadh, as the Houthis step up efforts to demonstrate that they can reach the Saudi capital.

President Xi's soothing, but essentially meaningless words on a "trade offer" to the U.S. saw stockmarkets pop (The Dow was up 428 points or 1.8%), while European stocks also rose nicely.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and 10 countries outside the oil cartel, including Russian Federation, have been holding back crude output by 1.8 million barrels a day since the start of past year. Analysts polled by S&P Global Platts forecast a 100,000-barrel increase in stockpiles and a 2 million-barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles.

Talk of Middle East conflicts has overshadowed bearish EIA data.

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