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Oil's Surge on Tanker Attacks Muted by Demand Fears

  • U.S. blames latest assaults on Iran, which denies involvement
  • Crude pares advance of as much as 4.5% to settle 2.2% higher
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Oil Surges as Two Tankers Are Damaged in Suspected Attack

Oil’s rebound from a five-month low after tanker attacks in the Middle East was tempered by concerns over weak global demand and rising U.S. inventories.

Futures in New York ended up 2.2%, paring gains of as much as 4.5% during the session. The U.S. blamed Iran for attacks on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint -- through which about 20% of the world’s oil output travels -- raising the prospect of a military confrontation and supply disruptions in the Middle East. However, swelling American stockpiles and signs of slowing consumption across the globe are weighing on prices.