TOKYO (Reuters) - Crude oil prices jumped back to near 3 1/2-year highs on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, sparking worries about global oil supplies.
Asian shares ticked down as renewed U.S. sanctions on Tehran were seen as disruptive for many companies that have deals with Iran.
Trump’s move is also seen as risking worsening already-tense relations between Iran and U.S. allies in the region.
“In the very short term, it looks as if the impact of heightened geopolitical worries was limited to oil markets. But that is not the end of the story,” said Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
“U.S. sanctions could affect various industries. And tensions between Iran and Israel look set to intensify. Those will begin to cap share prices,” he added.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 traded at $70.24 per barrel, up 1.7 percent and near Monday’s high of $70.84, which was its highest level since November 2014.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 1.9 percent to $76.26 per barrel, within a whisker of its 3 1/2-year high of $76.34 set on Monday.
Iran, the third-biggest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, produces about 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd), or about 4.0 percent of the world’s oil supplies.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dipped 0.1 percent in early trade while Japan's Nikkei .N225 fell 0.4 percent.
On Wall Street caution