By Carlos Tejada and Stanley Reed
The markets’ concerns eased as Iran’s foreign minister suggested that he was ready to stand down for now and President Trump suggested the damage from the attack had been limited, raising hopes of a restrained conflict in a region critical to world oil supplies.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, jumped about 5 percent, as high as $71.75 a barrel, immediately after news of the Iranian missile attack. But within hours it had fallen to $68.60, about 0.2 percent higher than the day before.
West Texas Intermediate crude also jumped and then receded, and was trading at about $62.95 a barrel, about 0.2 percent lower from Tuesday.
Futures on Wall Street pointed to a small upswing when trading starts.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, said in a tweet that the nation had “concluded proportionate measures in self-defense.” The statement followed two missile attacks on bases in Iraq housing American forces in response to the killing last week of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani.
In his own tweet shortly after, Mr. Trump suggested that damages and casualties sustained by American forces had been minimal, though the assessment was continuing. “All is well!” he said on Twitter.
The risk of a war between the United States and Iran, in the world’s most important oil producing region, the Persian Gulf, has sent shudders through the oil markets in recent days. The fear is that an attack on shipping from the Gulf, or damage to the oil fields of a major producer in the area like Iraq or Saudi Arabia, could restrict global supplies.
On Wednesday, officials from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the producers’ group, sought to calm fears that the crisis could lead to a major disruption in supplies.