Home Investing News Oil steady after slipping on Gaza ceasefire talks

Oil steady after slipping on Gaza ceasefire talks


Oil steady after slipping on Gaza ceasefire talks By Reuters

Breaking News



Published Mar 21, 2024 08:53PM ET
Updated Mar 22, 2024 11:25AM ET

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows Majnoon oil field near Basra, Iraq, May 12, 2023. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani/File Photo

By Laila Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Oil prices stabilized on Friday as the possibility of a ceasefire in Gaza weakened crude benchmarks, while steadying U.S. interest rates and the war in Europe cushioned the fall.

Brent futures eased 20 cents to $85.58 a barrel by 10:48 a.m. EST (1448 GMT), while U.S. crude fell 24 cents to $80.83 per barrel. Both benchmarks were largely unchanged on the week.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday he believed talks in Qatar could reach a Gaza ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Blinken met Arab foreign ministers and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo as negotiators in Qatar centred on a truce of about six weeks.

“A ceasefire would help calm fears that the situation in Gaza might spread more broadly across the region,” IG analyst Tony Sycamore said.

“Additionally, it may encourage the Houthis to stand down and allow oil tankers to pass through the Red Sea, which would also be a positive development in terms of helping to balance out the supply and demand dynamics.”

While a possible ceasefire meant oil could move more freely globally, the potential for easing U.S. interest rates helped support prices.

“We are still keeping fresh highs on the table given broad based expansion in risk appetite that accelerated following the mid-week Fed comments that proved less hawkish than anticipated,” said Houston-based Jim Ritterbusch, of Ritterbusch and Associates.

U.S. equities, which tend to move in correlation with oil prices, hit record highs after the Federal Reserve ended its regular meeting with no change in U.S. rates on Wednesday.

The conflict in Eastern Europe also kept oil prices from moving lower. Russia launched the largest missile and drone attack on Ukrainian energy infrastructure of the war to date on Friday, hitting the country’s largest dam and causing blackouts in several regions, Kyiv said.

Ukraine has in recent weeks masterminded a series of attacks on Russian energy infrastructure. The United States has reportedly urged Kyiv to halt strikes on facilities, warning that they risk provoking retaliation and driving up oil prices.

In the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, gasoline product supplied, a proxy for demand, slipped below 9 million barrels for the first time in three weeks, indicating a possible slowdown in crude demand.

However, consultancy FGE said preliminary weekly data for the first half of March that showed on-land crude and main product stocks at major oil hubs globally falling by almost 12 million barrels, compared with the 2015 to 2019 average draw of 6 million barrels, could be bullish for oil.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar strengthened after the Swiss National Bank’s surprise interest rate cut on Thursday bolstered global risk sentiment.

A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for investors holding other currencies, dampening demand.

Oil steady after slipping on Gaza ceasefire talks

Our Apps

Terms And Conditions
Privacy Policy
Risk Warning
Do not sell my personal information

© 2007-2024 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

Related News