Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday as investors awaited whether U.S. diplomat Blinken’s trip to the Middle East would halt the Gaza war.
Brent crude futures were up 17 cents at $78.16 a barrel by 07:04 GMT, while WTI crude futures were up 16 cents at $72.94.
Both contracts gained nearly 1% on Monday, rising for the first time in four sessions.
The ceasefire offer, conveyed to Hamas by Qatari and Egyptian mediators last week, awaits a response from the militants if it will bring an end to the war that has been going on for four months.
The United States has continued its campaign against the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, whose attacks on shipping vessels have disrupted global oil trade routes.
Concerns about the demand outlook limited price increases. US crude oil inventories probably increased last week.
Analysts say expectations that interest rates in the United States and elsewhere will remain high for an extended period will likely limit consumption, and there are indications that China’s economy continues to struggle.
Moreover, likely, it will likely not be easy to return to previous high levels if strong economic indicators from the USA lose their strength. Layoffs are still rising. This means that oil demand will decrease in the long run.
On the supply side, market participants are awaiting industry data on US crude inventories later on Tuesday. Analysts estimated that crude oil inventories increased by an average of 2.1 million barrels in the week to February 2.
Ultimately, both upside and downside risks are possible due to significant uncertainties regarding the strength of the global economy, the fallout from the ongoing Red Sea crisis, and the evolution of OPEC+ policy, among other factors.