Oil prices remained firm above the $90 per barrel mark on Monday, following their surge on Friday, as the world watched for potential escalation in the Israel-Hamas conflict. Brent futures saw a slight dip of 4 cents, equivalent to 0.04%, settling at $90.85 a barrel as of 1120 GMT. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude inched up by 12 cents, or 0.14%, to $87.81 a barrel.
Friday witnessed significant gains, with both benchmarks surging nearly 6%, propelling Brent 7.5% higher for the week and WTI up 5.9%. The ongoing war between the Islamist group Hamas and Israel has injected substantial geopolitical uncertainty into the oil markets, reminiscent of the impact observed during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, according to analysts.
After diplomatic efforts to mediate a ceasefire in southern Gaza that would have allowed those with foreign passports to leave and humanitarian goods to access the Palestinian enclave failed, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza increased on Monday. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Israel on Monday to discuss “the way forward” amid worries about potential escalation.
The situation remains fluid, and the energy markets are closely monitoring developments in the region.
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