Oil Prices Increase Amid Ongoing Middle East Hostilities
Oil Prices Rise as Middle East Conflict Continues
Oil prices were on track to end the week higher on Friday, fueled by ongoing violence in the Middle East. Israel’s rejection of a ceasefire offer from Hamas indicated little sign of the conflict abating.
Positive Trend in Oil Prices
At 09:45 ET (14:45 GMT), the contract expiring in April showed a 0.9% increase, reaching $82.40 a barrel. Meanwhile, the price of oil climbed by 1.3% to $77.22 per barrel.
Israeli Attack on Southern Gaza
Israeli forces launched a fresh attack on southern Gaza on Friday, despite warnings of a high death toll among Palestinians in the area from aid groups and U.S. President Joe Biden.
Israel’s Decision to Continue Hostilities
Israel’s recent bombing of the southern border city of Rafah, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to bring hostilities to a halt, has escalated the situation. As a result, crude prices, which rose in the prior session, are now on track to increase by nearly 7% versus the prior week.
Concerns Over Escalation
“There had been suggestions, or at least hope, that we could see a ceasefire, which could have helped to de-escalate the situation. But clearly, the concern now is we see further escalation,” analysts at ING said in a note.
Impact on Oil Prices
The Israel-Hamas conflict and its implications on broader tensions throughout the Middle East have cast doubt over supplies out of the crucial region, placing upward pressure on oil prices.