Oil prices up 3 pct with tensions in Middle East
Crude oil prices were up by around 3 percent during Jan. 3's trading start as rising tensions in the Middle East threaten secure crude supply from the region.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $68.18 per barrel at 0615 GMT with a 2.83 percent increase after closing on Jan. 2 at $66.30 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $62.91 a barrel at the same time with a 2.88 percent gain after ending the previous session at $61.15 per barrel.
The U.S. confirmed that it carried out a strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Quds Force, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
The Middle East is home to almost half of the world's proved oil reserves and accounts for one-third of global oil production.