Oil consolidates gains amid fears of worsening Middle East crisis

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Oil consolidates gains amid fears of worsening Middle East crisis

Oil prices remained stable in early trading in Asia on Thursday after gaining a dollar a barrel in the previous session as investors braced for a worsening crisis in the Middle East, potentially involving Iran, the third largest oil producer in OPEC.

Brent crude futures were up 4 cents at $90.52 a barrel by 0047 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 2 cents at $86.24 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than 1% in the previous session after three sons of a Hamas leader were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, fueling fears of a breakdown in ceasefire negotiations. -fire between the two parties. Earlier this week, Israel and Hamas began a new round of ceasefire talks in their more than six-month-old Gaza war, but those talks failed to produce any agreement.

Additionally, the region is on alert for possible Iranian retaliation following a suspected Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria earlier this month. A Bloomberg report released Wednesday said the United States and its allies believe major missile or drone strikes by Iran or its proxies against Israel are imminent.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant that the United States would stand with Israel against any threat from Iran, the US State Department said on Wednesday.

“The market is increasingly concerned about an escalation of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, putting oil supplies at risk,” said Daniel Hynes, an analyst at ANZ. Oil traders will also be paying attention to the monthly oil market report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which is due to be released later on Thursday, as well as the oil market report from the International Petroleum Agency. energy, expected Friday.

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