Oil price keeps rising, industry frets over Iran-US conflict

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The global benchmark for crude oil has risen above $70 a barrel for the first time in over three months.

Analysts believe the U.S. economy can withstand this jump in oil prices without a serious hit on growth. But they caution that this benign outcome could be jeopardize by a widening conflict with Iran.

The increase came amid jitters over the escalating military tensions between Iran and the United States after an American drone strike killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

The price of oil is now up more than 5% since the killing, and major stock markets are down around the world amid fears of how Iran would fulfill its vow of “harsh retaliation."

The energy industry is worried that Iran could strike at oil and gas facilities along the Persian Gulf that are important to the U.S. and its regional allies.

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