Oil eases on possible Gaza ceasefire, dollar strength


*Oil tankers are anchored at Basra harbour, 550 kms (340 miles) south of Baghdad. Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani announced the construction of four new water platforms to ease the export of oil and increase its production. AFP PHOTO/ESSAM AL-SUDANI (Photo credit should read ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

– US says talks in Qatar could reach Gaza ceasefire agreement
– US gasoline product supplied slips below 9 mln bbls-EIA

Singapore — Oil prices slipped on Friday on the possibility of a nearing Gaza ceasefire that could ease geopolitical concerns in the Middle East, while a stronger dollar and faltering U.S. gasoline demand also weighed on prices.

Brent crude futures fell 42 cents, or 0.5%, to $85.36 a barrel by 0203 GMT. U.S. crude futures shed 40 cents, or 0.5%, to $80.67 per barrel.

Both contracts are set to end the week little changed after rising more than 3% last week.

Oil was trading lower on reports of a U.N. draft resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and as another round of profit-taking kicked in, IG analyst Tony Sycamore said in a note.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday he believed talks in Qatar could reach a Gaza ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, easing geopolitical risks in the region.

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.

In the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, gasoline product supplied, a proxy for demand, slipped below 9 million barrels for the first time in three weeks, indicating a possible slowdown in crude demand.

But consultancy FGE said preliminary weekly data for the first half of March that showed on-land crude and main product stocks at major oil hubs globally falling by almost 12 million barrels, compared with the 2015 to 2019 average draw of 6 million barrels, could be bullish for oil.

News  Oil stays near five-month highs as tighter supply looms

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar, which trades inversely with oil prices, strengthened after the Swiss National Bank’s surprise interest rate cut bolstered global risk sentiment.

A stronger dollar makes oil more expensive for investors holding other currencies, dampening demand.

*Florence Tan & Laila Kearney; editing: Christopher Cushing & Jamie Freed – Reuters



This article was originally posted at sweetcrudereports.com

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