Kerry Meets With Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan At State Dep't

The exact circumstances surrounding the kidnapping – and subsequent release – of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan by an anti-crime unit in Tripoli last night aren’t totally clear. But as short-lived as the event proved to be, it had a big impact on oil markets.

“The oil market was reminded overnight that the geopolitical risk in MENA [Middle East/North Africa]  is still active,” wrote Dominick Chirichella at the CME Group website.

“The events overnight sent oil prices soaring on concern that the reduced level of oil flowing out of Libya may be further curtailed.”

Oil prices have since eased, but Chirichella noted that as of this morning, they remained “modestly” higher than yesterday’s prices, with Brent – which is more sensitive to disruptions to international oil flows – seeing a larger impact than West Texas Intermediate.