Crude oil rises while peace negotiations in Gaza make little headway

crude oil

Oil prices increased on Thursday as negotiations to resolve the Gaza conflict and broader Middle East concerns that have unsettled the market since October resumed after Israel turned down a cease-fire request from Hamas. Strong indications of fuel demand in the United States this week supported the market’s rising trend.

Brent crude futures were up 22 cents, or 0.28%, at $79.43 per barrel. At $74.05 per barrel, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures increased by 19 cents, or 0.26%. Although U.S. Secretary stated there was still opportunity for negotiations toward an accord, Israeli Prime Minister turned down Hamas’ most recent offer for a truce and the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip. A far larger-than-expected decline in gasoline stockpiles in the United States that was reported on Wednesday supported the market on the demand side.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, last week’s rise in gasoline inventories in the United States was 3.15 million barrels lower than analysts had predicted (140,000 barrels). The decline in gasoline inventories and the unprecedented 13% annual increase in US oil exports to 4.06 million barrels per day in 2023, according to ANZ Research, “both indicate stronger demand for crude.”

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