Oil prices went up and down after the market appeared confused over Iran’s threat to block the major oil shipping route through the Strait of Hormuz.
On Friday crude for February delivery was up 29 cents, 0.3%, to settle at $99.65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after it fell to $98.30 earlier. Prices shed nearly 2% on Wednesday, a reversal after a six-session rally of more than 8%. Brent for February settlement added 13 cents to $108.14 a barrel on the
London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. It's headed for a 14 percent increase this year.
The prices began to rise on Tuesday as Iran threatened to block shipping through the Strait of Hormuz — a key shipping route that provides 15.5 million barrels a day or about 40% of the world’s oil export.
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