AFP, New York : Oil prices rallied and US stocks tumbled Friday following news of a tanker attack in the Middle East as investors considered the size of an expected Federal Reserve interest rate cut later this month. Wall Street stocks had been in positive territory through early afternoon, but fell decisively after Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz - a move that prompted swift criticism from the United States and Britain. Oil prices also rallied on the latest escalation of tensions in Iran, lifting petroleum-linked equities in the US. "Perhaps this will be the action that forces all parties to de-escalate the situation and come to the negotiating table," said a note from BMO Capital Markets.
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