Oil prices rise amid geopolitical tensions, renewed sanctions


(MENAFN) Oil prices saw a slight uptick in early trading on Thursday, partially offsetting losses from the previous session, following announcements of renewed sanctions by the United States on Venezuela and indications of new sanctions on Iran by the European Union. Brent crude futures rose by ten cents, or 0.11 percent, reaching $87.39 per barrel, while US crude futures increased by two cents to $82.71 per barrel. The previous session had witnessed a three percent decline in both benchmarks amidst lingering concerns about demand.

The decision by the United States to not renew a license, which expires on Thursday, that previously eased the impact of oil sanctions on Venezuela signifies a reimposition of punitive measures. This move comes after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro failed to fulfill election pledges. A research highlighted ongoing supply risks as a factor supporting commodity markets, despite easing tensions in the Middle East. Venezuela, which exported 600,000 barrels per day in the first quarter, with 165,000 barrels per day going to the United States, is expected to feel the impact of these sanctions, albeit modestly.

Meanwhile, uncertainty persists regarding potential responses from Israel following Iran's recent missile and drone attack. European Union leaders, in an attempt to de-escalate tensions and prevent further conflict, opted to tighten sanctions on Iran during a meeting on Wednesday. These developments underscore the complex geopolitical landscape influencing oil markets, with shifting dynamics in the Middle East and international relations impacting supply and demand dynamics.

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