Brent crude oil trades 2% higher amid US and Britain attacks in Yemen

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The price of Brent crude oil is 2% higher in early trade, close to 80 dollars a barrel. This after the United States and Britain carried out strikes against Houthi military targets in Yemen in retaliation for attacks by the Iran-backed group on shipping in the Red Sea.

The Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have disrupted international commerce on the key route between Europe and Asia, which accounts for about 15% of the world’s shipping traffic.

Shipping giant Maersk said it will divert all vessels away from the Red Sea for the foreseeable future, adding further pressure on the price of oil.

At the same time, data showed China’s annual crude oil imports hit an all-time high last year underpinning higher oil prices.