HOUSTON: Oil prices dipped for a second day on Tuesday, as talks for a ceasefire in Gaza continued, but losses were limited to less than a dollar a barrel as Egyptian and Qatari mediators met resistance in their search to find a way out of the war.

The talks in Cairo, also attended by the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency William Burns, have so far failed to reach a breakthrough.

Hamas said an Israeli proposal on a ceasefire met none of the demands of Palestinian militant factions, but it would study the offer further and deliver its response to mediators.

Brent crude futures fell 91 cents, or 1 per cent, to $89.7 per barrel by 12:50pm ET (1650 GMT). US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $1.12 cents or 1.3% at $85.29.

On Monday, Brent posted its first decline in five sessions and WTI its first in seven as a fresh round of Israel-Hamas ceasefire discussions in Cairo raised hopes of a breakthrough.

“Without an end to the conflict, there is an elevated risk that other countries, particularly Iran, Opec’s third-largest producer, could be drawn into the war,” said Fiona Cincotta, Senior Financial Market Analyst at City Index.

The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s navy said it could close the Strait of Hormuz if deemed necessary. About a fifth of the volume of the world’s total oil consumption passes through the strait daily.

Turkiye announced it would restrict exports of various products, inclu­ding jet fuel, to Israel until there is a ceasefire. Israel said it would respond with its own curbs.

Published in Dawn, April 10th, 2024

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