Oil prices ended nearly 15 percent higher on Monday, with Brent crude logging its biggest jump in more than 30 years amid record trading volumes.
The volatility comes after an attack on crude facilities in Saudi Arabia cut the kingdom’s production in half and intensified concerns of retaliation in the Gulf region and across the Middle East.
Brent crude futures settled at $69.02 a barrel, rising $8.80, or 14.6 percent – its largest one-day percentage gain since at least 1988.
In the United States, West Texas Intermediat futures ended at $62.90 a barrel, soaring $8.05, or 14.7 percent – the biggest one-day percentage gain since December 2008.
The number of trades also ramped up, with Brent futures surpassing 2 million lots, an all-time daily volume record, Intercontinental Exchange spokesperson Rebecca Mitchell said.
“The attack on Saudi oil infrastructure came as a shock and a surprise to a market that had not been trading [with] volatility and was more focused on the demand aspect oversupply,” said Tony Headrick, an energy market analyst at St. Paul, Minnesota commodity brokerage CHS Hedging LLC.
“I think the tables abruptly shifted in the [direction] of the supply outlook and that caught many [who] were short off guard,” Headrick said, in reference to investors who had gambled on oil prices going down.