Oil prices up over fall in US stockpiles and Middle East tensions

Oil prices increased on Thursday with indicators of strong US demand and supply risks from tensions in the Middle East, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency. 

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $88.21 per barrel at 09.32 a.m. local time (0632 GMT), a 0.21% increase from the closing price of $88.02 per barrel in the previous trading session.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $82.95 per barrel at the same time, a 0.17% increase from the previous session that closed at $82.81 per barrel.

The fall in commercial crude oil stocks in the US, the world's largest oil consumer, and tensions in the Middle East were contributing factors in support of price rises.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that commercial crude oil stocks decreased by approximately 6.4 million barrels last week to 453.6 million barrels, relative to the market prediction of an 1.6 million-barrel increase. Such a substantial drawdown signaled strong demand in support of higher prices.

Meanwhile, the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict showed no signs of abating and is continuing to raise geopolitical risks in the Middle East.

Israel is continuing its relentless onslaught for the 201st day despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Since last October, Israel’s offensive has killed over 34,183 people and injured 77,143 others amid a crippling blockade that has left most of the population on the verge of starvation.

Israeli airstrikes on several areas in the Gaza Strip are still in play, including the city of Rafah. This is where Israel insists on invading under the pretext of confronting the last strongholds of the Hamas movement, despite increasing international warnings of catastrophic consequences in an area that hosts approximately 1.4 million displaced people.



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