International benchmark Brent crude futures surpassed the $70 mark after Yemen’s Houthis rebel targeted Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

Brent crude futures for May jumped by $1.75, or 2.5%, to reach $71.11 a barrel, marking its highest since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, reported Reuters.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for April surged by $1.60, or 2.4%, to reach $67.69, representing its highest in more than two years.

On 7 March, Yemen’s Houthi forces reportedly attacked Saudi Aramco’s oil terminal at Ras Tanura using drones and missiles.

Commenting on the attack, Riyadh said the firing on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry is a botched assault on global energy security.

ING analysts were cited by the news agency as saying in a report: “We could see further upside in the market in the near-term, particularly as the market probably now needs to be pricing in some sort of risk premium, with these attacks picking up in frequency.”

Meanwhile, stocks in Asia have risen following the approval of a $1.9tn stimulus bill by the US Senate.

Positive economic data from China and the US signify a rebound in the global economy, according to the news agency.

The recent decision by OPEC and its allies to maintain production cuts in April has also increased Brent and WTI prices for the fourth consecutive session.

ANZ analysts were quoted by Reuters as saying: “The decision to keep quotas unchanged signals the group’s intent to drawdown inventories further, without concern of overtightening the market.

“It also suggests they see little threat from rising output elsewhere.”