Oil prices slip

Published March 23, 2024

NEW YORK: Oil prices slipped on Friday and were flat on the week as the possibility of a ceasefire in Gaza weakened crude benchmarks, while the war in Europe and shrinking US rig count cushioned the fall.

Brent futures for May delivery settled at $85.43, losing 35 cents. US crude settled at $80.63 a barrel, falling 44 cents. Both benchmarks logged less a than 1pc change on the week.

“Everyone is watching for what the weekend will bring with Gaza,” said John Kilduff, partner with Again Capital LLC, adding that successful peace talks would prompt Yemen’s Hothis to allow oil tankers to pass through the Red Sea.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday he believed talks in Qatar could reach a Gaza ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Blinken met Arab foreign ministers and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo as negotiators in Qatar centred on a truce of about six weeks. Meanwhile, the US dollar was set for a second week of broad gains after the Swiss National Bank’s surprise interest rate cut on Thursday bolstered global risk sentiment.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2024

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