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IDF Commemorative Tweet Accidentally Sends Oil Prices Soaring

Commemoration of the 1973 Yom Kippur War and attack on Syrian airports mistaken for current news, sets off oil buying rally

By: Gideon Greenbaum-Shinder
Published: October 11th, 2013 in Business » Israel
Screenshot of IDF Twitter

A twitter message sent out by the Israel Defense Forces commemorating the Israeli bombing raid during the Yom Kippur War forty years ago spooked oil traders Thursday, artificially inflating prices.

The tweet mentioned the Israeli bombing raids on Syrian airports to stop Soviet weapons transfers and was hashtagged with an obvious #YomKippur73, intended to make it clear for the readers that this was simply part of a series of messages by the IDF commemorating the war.

Although its intent seems comprehensible enough, the tweet had quite a larger effect than was initially intended.

International traders and brokers misconstrued the tweet as subtle evidence pointing to the verity that oil supply would soon become a sparse commodity. A buying frenzy then began, sending the cost from $110.40 a barrel to $111.50, according to Reuters.

Prices in the US also ballooned by over a dollar taking the price up to $103, galvanized by this tweet and other corroborating newss stories out of the Middle East and D.C.

John Kilduff, a founding partner of hedge fund Again Capital, said he saw the news online without the explanatory hashtag, making this look like a fresh attack, according to Times of Israel.

"There was confusion on that tweet and it got bandied about as a new attack," he said.

The IDF maintains it’s belief that the confusion is unwarranted.

"Obviously this was part of our Yom Kippur Twitter series. The facts are there and simple to read. It was apparent within the tweet itself," said IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner.

Prices did not go any lower once traders realized their blunder; in fact, prices actually rose initially early in the morning on the news that Libya’s prime minister had been kidnapped. The price eventually closed at $111.80, up $2.74 for the day.

The actual Yom Kippur War, which took place in 1973, actually did send oil costs surging as well, in reaction to the United States decision to shore up Israel’s military.

Related articles: IDF, Israel News, Twitter, Yom Kippur War, Jewish News
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