Saudi Arabia has warned of “its influential and vital role in the global economy” after US President Donald Trump said the kingdom could face severe consequences following the disappearance and alleged murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Brinkmanship between the world’s largest crude exporter and the US, the biggest consumer nation, comes at a difficult time for the market with oil continuing to trade above $80/b. According to Energy Information Administration data, the kingdom exported 876,000 b/d of crude to the US in July.

The Saudis are coming under intense international pressure over Khashoggi’s disappearance, but officials have so far denied any wrongdoing on the part of the government.

Oil prices jumped almost 2 per cent following the threat from Saudi Arabia. Brent crude was up 1.2 per cent at $81.42 a barrel while US marker West Texas Intermediate was up 1.1 per cent at $72.15 a barrel.