Brent rises above $111, Iran supply worries support
Brent crude rose above $111 a barrel on Wednesday, gaining for a second straight session on fears that tensions between Iran and the West may escalate with U.S. lawmakers mulling more sanctions on Tehran, while promising China data also supported sentiment, Reuters reported.
Leading U.S. lawmakers are considering adding measures to a new package of sanctions that would single out Iran's national oil and shipping companies and restrict its ability to tap into electronic banking services.
Brent crude rose 44 cents to $111.42 a barrel, while U.S. crude gained 27 cents to $98.75 a barrel.
The United States imposed the harshest sanctions so far on Iran when President Barack Obama on December 31 signed into law new sanctions on transactions involving Iran's central bank while the European Union last week imposed a ban on the import, purchase or transport of Iranian oil.
Iran is feeling the bite from economic sanctions imposed over its nuclear program, which is capable of producing a weapon although Iranian leaders have not yet decided to do so, top U.S. intelligence chiefs told Congress.
Edited by: S. Isayev