Markets

Donald Trump’s tweets send oil prices to December 2014 high of nearly $72

Oil prices have rocketed to their highest point since December 2014 after US President Donald Trump threatened to fire missiles at Syria in a tweet.

"Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming," the President wrote on Twitter.

Oil prices had already been bolstered by brewing tensions, but the tweet boosted them over the edge to a more than three-year high of $71.97 a barrel.

Read more: Russia's rouble is falling further as Moody's and two directors ditch Rusal

At the time of writing, Brent crude was up nearly 0.6 per cent at $71.45 per barrel while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate prices were at $65.93 per barrel, slightly down from a high of $66.44.

The price of gold also bounced, climbing 0.75 per cent to $1,356 per troy ounce.

While Syria is not a major oil producer, signs of conflict in the Middle East tend to boost oil prices over fears of disruptions to supply.

Trump is expected to announce military intervention soon after the weekend's chemical attack in Syria.

"It seems that whilst further attacks by the US would be counterproductive there is a feeling over there that something has to be done in the lesson teaching department so expect military reprisals sometime soon," said Hydrocarbon Capital's Malcolm Graham-Wood.

"In addition to this, the fact that Iran is on the other side presents the Donald with an easy target, if he wasnt going to abandon the nuclear deal before, it is now a certainty which brings with it sanctions and potentially reduced Iranian exports," he said.

Read more: Trump warns Syria and Russia 'missiles are coming – get ready'

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