Crude oil prices surge as Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire and U.S. reveals increase in reserves
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was priced at 74.58 dollars per barrel, reflecting an increase of 0.97 percent. Similarly, the price of Brent oil saw an increase of 1.02 percent and currently stands at 80 dollars per barrel, "Reuters" reports. This marks the first time Brent oil has crossed the $80 barrier since February 1, 2024.
Factors influencing oil prices
"Reuters" explains that the information provided by the American Department of Energy (DoE) played a significant role in the rise of oil prices. The DoE reported that US crude oil reserves last week saw an increase of approximately 5.52 million barrels, which is a 1.13 percent rise, to reach a total of 427.432 million barrels.
Conversely, gasoline reserves fell by 3.15 million barrels, or 1.24 percent, bringing the total to 250.988 million barrels during this same period. These data, which indicate refinery conservation in the US, contributed to the fluctuation of the world oil price.
Another significant factor related to oil prices includes the current volatile situation in the Middle East. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently rejected a ceasefire offer and the return of hostages from Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, as pointed out by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, there might still be an opportunity to negotiate this agreement.
On Thursday, a delegation from the Palestinian Hamas, led by senior official Khalil Al-Hayya, was set to go to Cairo to discuss a potential ceasefire with Egypt and Qatar. Simultaneously, Houthi fighters continued their attacks on ships off the Yemeni coast.
An American drone attack reportedly killed Abu Baqir al-Saadi, the leader of the pro-Iranian militia Kataib Hezbollah, in eastern Baghdad on Wednesday, "Reuters" reported, citing sources. The attack was in response to the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan.
"Oil prices are based on the narrative of a soft landing and supply shortages in the second half of the year," said Priyanka Sachdeva, a senior market analyst at Phillip Nova.