A Tweet About Something That Happened 40 Years Ago Moved Markets Today

Oil traders — keen on responding quickly to geopolitical developments in the Middle East — misunderstood a tweet from the Israel Defence Forces Twitter account and sent oil prices jumping, Reuters is reporting.

Traders thought the tweet, actually referring to an attack during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, was announcing that Israel had just bombed Syrian airports.

“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,” an IDF spokesman told Reuters.

“Front-month Brent crude prices rallied from $US110.40 a barrel at 10:20 a.m. EDT — just before the Tweet — to as high as $US111.50 just after 11 a.m., as trading volumes rose. By 1 p.m. oil was up $US2.68 a barrel to $US111.74, its highest in a month,” Reuters reported.

Business Insider received some chatter from a trader this morning about the mishap. Our Joe Weisenthal tweeted this conversation:

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