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Ongoing tensions in the Middle East are driving up oil prices

Oil prices, both U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light crude and Brent North Sea crude, rose in early Asian trade on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, paring some of the previous day’s losses as investors remained nervous that a war between between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas could escalate into a wider conflict in the oil-exporting Middle East region, causing potential supply disruptions on a global scale. The Palestinian movement Hamas said on Monday 10/23/2023 that it freed two Israeli women who were among more than 200 hostages taken during its October 7, 2023 rampage in southern Israel, while sources said the US advised Israel to postpone a ground attack in the Gaza Strip. But Israel continued its bombardment of Gaza on Monday, October 23, 2023, after launching overnight airstrikes over southern Lebanon. “The market is adjusting after a slump in the last two sessions and lingering concerns about possible supply disruptions in the Middle East,” said Yuki Takashima, economist at Nomura Securities.

Currently, during the European Tuesday afternoon on 24/10/2023, at approximately 13:53 CET, the US light oil WTI (West Texas Intermediate) traded on the commodity market NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) at a value of USD 85.64 per barrel with by + 0.18% price growth so far. This current price, according to technical analysis data, thus represents a total annual growth of +13.57% of the price over the last 52 weeks, of which the price of oil has increased since the beginning of this year 2023 by +10.41% of the price compared to its value at the end of last year 2022. The European counterpart of WTI crude oil, i.e. North Sea Brent crude oil, traded on the ICE (Intercontinental Exchange Europe) commodity market at a value of USD 89.89 per barrel on the indicated date and time, with a daily increase of +0.07% of its price so far. According to technical analysis data, Brent North Sea oil has strengthened its price over the last 52 weeks by +11.49% of the price, and since the beginning of this year 2023, the price of Brent oil has increased by +10.03%.

Current oil prices were reached as the US dollar (USD) exchange rate began to strengthen again against its trading trend during the morning European hours. Currently, during the European Tuesday afternoon on 24/10/2023, at approximately 14:06 CET, the exchange value of the USD measured by the dollar index DXY (US Dollar Currency Index) was at the point value of 105.92 USD points with a daily growth of + 0.37% of the point value according to this index, which compares the value of the USD with the longer six of the world’s major currencies. Thus, on the indicated day and time, the global currency pair of the single European currency euro (EUR) and the US dollar (USD), as the central commodity currency, traded at a mutual exchange rate at a value of 1.063 USD per EUR, with a EUR decrease of -0.356% of the rate so far against the USD. “We expect WTI to hover in the $80-$90 range for some time, with all eyes on the situation in Israel and Gaza, OPEC production and the pace of demand recovery in China,” Takashima said, adding that investors were also focusing on stock in the US.


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