Crude prices breached multi-year highs on Thursday as investors assessed the perspectives of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran amid an already tightening global oil supply.
International benchmark July Brent crude touched their highest level since November 2014 above $77.80 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also scaled a November-2014 peak, at $71.75 per barrel.
In China, which is Iran’s single largest purchaser of crude, Shanghai futures marked their strongest intra-day rally since their launch in March, gaining more than 4 percent to a dollar-denominated record of around $73.40 a barrel.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatens to impose new sanctions versus Iran, which generates almost 4 percent of global crude supplies, after leaving a deal reached in late 2015 which capped Tehran’s nuclear goals in exchange for moving away U.S.-Europe sanctions.