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Oil climbs as Iran attacks military bases housing US troops in Iraq

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Oil climbs as Iran attacks military bases housing US troops in Iraq

Oil prices climbed late Jan. 7 after Iran fired ballistic missiles at Iraqi airbases hosting U.S. military in retaliation for an airstrike that killed a top military commander last week.

Brent crude oil jumped 1.4% to $69.25 per barrel as of 10:30 p.m. ET while the West Texas Intermediate rose 1.3% to $63.51 per barrel after Jonathan Hoffman, assistant to U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, said Iranian forces had launched "at least a dozen ballistic missiles" against American military and coalition forces in Iraq.

Hoffman said the attacks were aimed at "at least" two bases at Al-Assad and Irbil at around 5:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 7. He added that the defense department "will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region."

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps confirmed that the attack was in response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani, who headed the corps' elite Quds Force, and warned the U.S. that any more moves would "bring about more painful and crushing responses," the Tasnim News Agency reported. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also said the attacks were "proportionate measures in self-defense," while adding: "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression."

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that "all is well" and that the government is assessing casualties and damages.

Gold rose 1.3% to $1,594.10 per ounce, while futures for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the currency's performance against a basket of major peers, lost 0.1% to 96.91.