Crude oil prices experienced a notable increase on Friday as fears of a potential escalation in the ongoing tensions between Israel and Gaza sparked concerns about global oil supplies.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures saw a significant rise, surging by $2.33, or 2.8%, to close at $85.54 per barrel. Despite this daily gain, WTI futures posted a 2.9% loss for the week. On the other hand, Brent crude futures also climbed, with an increase of $2.55, or 2.9%, leading to a closing price of $90.48 per barrel, though they were down by 1.8% over the course of the week.
Both WTI and Brent crude futures concluded Friday at their highest levels since October 20.
The surge in crude oil prices is primarily attributed to growing concerns in the market regarding the potential impact on global oil supplies stemming from the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The situation escalated after U.S. warplanes targeted bases and weapons depots in Syria used by Iranian-backed fighters.
Furthermore, the Israeli army has initiated the deployment of tanks and troops for limited incursions into Gaza, signaling the possibility of broader ground operations in the near future.
To date, the Middle East tensions have not directly affected oil supplies. However, investors remain on edge about the prospect of disrupted exports from countries such as Iran, a significant oil producer and supporter of Hamas. The situation continues to be closely monitored as the world watches for any significant developments in this volatile region that could impact the global oil market.
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Saturday, October 28, 2023