The price of a barrel of Brent crude surged briefly by nearly 4.5% to $69.16, a level last seen in September last year, following attacks on processing facilities owned by Saudi Arabia's state-controlled oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Those attacks, which temporarily forced the Kingdom to close down half of its oil production, were blamed at the time on Iran and there is an expectation that Tehran will retaliate to the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

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