Oil rates see uptick driven by indications of robust US demand

(MENAFN) On Thursday, oil rates saw an uptick driven by indications of robust demand in the US and concerns over supply disruptions in the Middle East.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading at USD88.21 per barrel at 09.32 a.m. local time (0632 GMT), which is a 0.21 percent rise compared to the previous session's closing price of USD88.02 per barrel. Similarly, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at USD82.95 per barrel at the same time, reflecting a 0.17 percent increase from its previous closing price of USD82.81 per barrel.

The decrease in commercial crude oil stocks in the US, the world's largest oil consumer, and tensions in the Middle East were key factors supporting the upward movement in prices.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), commercial crude oil stocks dropped by around 6.4 million barrels last week to 453.6 million barrels, a significant deviation from the market expectation of a 1.6 million-barrel increase. This substantial drawdown signaled strong demand, contributing to the price surge.

Simultaneously, the persistent Israeli-Palestinian conflict continued to escalate geopolitical risks in the Middle East. Despite a UN Security Council resolution urging an immediate cease-fire in the besieged Gaza Strip, Israel's offensive has persisted for 201 days. This prolonged conflict has resulted in a high toll of casualties and injuries, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the region.

Israeli airstrikes continue to target various areas in the Gaza Strip, including the city of Rafah. Israel justifies these attacks by claiming they are necessary to confront the remaining strongholds of Hamas movement. However, there are growing international warnings about the potentially catastrophic consequences of such actions, particularly in an area like Rafah, which is home to approximately 1.4 million displaced people. In spite of these warnings, Israel persists in its military operations in the region.



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