Oil prices increased due to growing tensions between the US and Iran, as well as over expectations of OPEC to continue with supply-cuts in 2019.

Brent crude futures rose 21 cents to $72.18 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed 31 cents to settle at $63.41 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Earlier, the US President Donald Trump threatened Iran with the use of ‘great force’ if the latter provokes US interests in the region. Trump’s warning came following a rocket attack in Baghdad that was suspected to have been carried out by Iran-backed militia.

Iran, however, declined to continue talks to mitigate the tensions and stated that it will continue to resist US pressure. The latest developments come at a time when the US stepped up efforts to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero.

Supplies to the oil market are already tightened due to reduced production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers since the beginning of 2019.

They are expected to meet in June to discuss the future of supply-cut policy. Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of OPEC, has already indicated to continue with the pact throughout the year.

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The price rise was also restricted over concerns that the ongoing US-China trade impasse may trigger global economic slowdown. The growth of key Asian economies Singapore and Thailand also decelerated, further raising concerns over economic slowdown.