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Oil prices grew but concerns over military tension in Syria and a trade dispute between US and China kept them from inching up further.

Brent crude futures increased 27 cents to touch at $72.33 per barrel while US WTI crude futures grew 38 cents to reach $67.20 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Shanghai crude futures grew by CNY10.5 (2.5%) to touch CNY428.7 ($68.28) per barrel.

Both Brent and WTI reached their highest since late 2014 at $73.09 and $67.45 per barrel, respectively.

Tensions in the Middle East are keeping the global market on edge as Saudi Arabia intercepted missiles while the US threatened Russia with military action in Syria.

ANZ bank told Reuters: “Geopolitical risks outweighed an unexpected rise in inventories in the US.”

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By GlobalData
“Geopolitical risks outweighed an unexpected rise in inventories in the US.”

China stated that the trade dispute was provoked by the US and it was ready to raise the heat if the US did not back off from its threat to import tariffs on Chinese goods.

Even as the market remains tense, it continues to be oversupplied due to excess production from the US, which is likely to affect prices.

Barclays Bank was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Geopolitical events could keep prices elevated above $70 Brent in April and May, but our balances suggest a high likelihood of a downward correction in 2H18.”

Barclays expects Brent to touch an average of $63 per barrel in 2018 and $60 in 2019. It also predicts prices of $58 and $55 a barrel for this year and 2019 for WTI.

US crude stocks grew by 3.3 million barrels to 428.64 million barrels. Furthermore, last week crude production from the US reached a new record of 10.53 million barrels per day (bpd), up by 25% since mid-2016.

The US is currently the second largest crude producer and Russia is the top producer with just under 11 million barrels per day.