Oil edges up after Israel strikes Gaza, while truce talks continue


Oil prices ticked up early on Tuesday after Israel struck Rafah in Gaza while negotiations for a ceasefire with Hamas continued without resolution.

Brent crude futures were up 46 cents, or 0.55%, at $83.79 per barrel at 0010 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futuresrose 46 cents, or 0.59%, to $78.94 a barrel.

Prices had edged upward on Monday, partially reversing the declines of last week in which both contracts posted their steepest weekly loss in three months, with the focus on weak U.S. jobs data and the possible timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

Palestinian militant group Hamas on Monday agreed to a Gaza ceasefire proposal from mediators, but Israel said the terms did not meet its demands and pressed ahead with strikes in Rafah while planning to continue negotiations on a deal.

Israeli forces struck Rafah on Gaza’s southern edge from the air and ground and ordered residents to leave parts of the city, which has been a refuge for more than a million displaced Palestinians.

A lack of settlement between the parties in the now seven-month long conflict has supported prices, as investors worry that regional escalation of the war will disrupt Middle Eastern crude supplies.

Riyadh’s move to raise the official selling prices for its crude sold to Asia, Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean in June also supported prices, signaling expectations of strong demand this summer.

The world’s top exporter hiked its flagship Arab Light crude oil price to Asia to $2.90 a barrel above the Oman/Dubai average in June, the highest since January and at the upper end of traders’ expectations in a Reuters survey.

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