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Oil Prices Surge Amid Gaza Truce Uncertainty Saudi Arabia Raises Prices

Photo : Reuters

On Monday, oil prices saw an uptick following Saudi Arabia's decision to raise crude prices for June and amid concerns over the possibility of a ceasefire in Gaza. Brent crude futures increased by 73 cents, reaching $83.69 per barrel at 0852 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose by 84 cents to $78.95 per barrel.

The rise in oil prices came as Saudi Arabia announced an increase in its official selling prices (OSPs) for crude sold to various regions, including Asia, Northwest Europe, and the Mediterranean. This move suggested expectations of robust demand during the summer months, which contributed to the positive sentiment in the oil market.

However, the prospect of a ceasefire in Gaza appeared slim, adding to geopolitical tensions. Despite ongoing talks, Hamas reiterated its demand for an end to the conflict before considering a ceasefire, while Israel signaled its readiness to launch a military operation in the Southern Gaza Strip. This uncertainty surrounding the situation in Gaza contributed to concerns about potential disruptions to oil supplies in the region, supporting oil prices.

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Moreover, market analysts noted that the geopolitical risk premium in oil prices had eased slightly as ceasefire negotiations continued. However, the risk of renewed tensions persisted, especially if ceasefire efforts were derailed.

In addition to geopolitical factors, oil prices were influenced by economic indicators. In China, the world's largest crude importer, the services sector continued to show expansionary activity for the 16th consecutive month. This positive economic data from China, coupled with rising business sentiment and growth in new orders, contributed to optimism about the global economic recovery and supported oil prices.

Overall, the combination of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, expectations of strong demand indicated by Saudi Arabia's crude price hike, and positive economic indicators from China contributed to the upward movement in oil prices on Monday.

Please note that this summary is not intended to provide financial advice and is for informational purposes only.

May 6, 2024 5:10 p.m. 5488

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