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Oil Prices Rally On Geopolitical Tensions

Oil prices rose around 2 percent on Monday on worries that Iran's seizure of a British tanker last week may lead to supply disruptions in the energy-rich Gulf.

Benchmark Brent crude jumped 2 percent to $63.73 a barrel after losing more than 6 percent last week. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 1.6 percent at $56.50 a barrel after plunging more than 7 percent last week.

Geopolitical tensions remain high after Iran said that it had arrested 17 Iranian citizens on charges of spying for the United States and some of them have already been sentenced to death.

Those taken into custody worked on "sensitive sites" in the country's military and nuclear facilities, an Iranian intelligence official told a press conference in Tehran.

The announcement comes amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf region following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of Tehran's deal last year and intensify sanction on the country.

There was no immediate comment from Washington.

On Friday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf in response to Britain's seizure of an Iranian tanker earlier this month.

The move has increased the fear of potential supply disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, through which about 20 percent of the world's oil supply flows.

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