Oil prices maintain rising trend ahead of Easter Sunday

Oil prices maintain rising trend ahead of Easter Sunday
Oil prices maintain rising trend ahead of Easter Sunday

Africa-Press – Eritrea. Oil prices continue their rising trend ahead of Easter Sunday during the week ending March 29 due to supply concerns fueled by escalating geopolitical tensions.

International benchmark Brent crude closed at $86.99 per barrel early Friday, just before the Easter Break, increasing by around 2.5% relative to the closing price of $84.83 per barrel on Friday last week. Exchanges will be closed for Good Friday and Easter Monday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the American benchmark, closed at $83.11 a barrel at 11.58 p.m. local time (2058 GMT) on Thursday, for a rise of about 3.1% from last Friday’s session that closed at $80.63 per barrel.

Both benchmarks started the week on a positive note due to geopolitical tensions that threatened global oil supply.

The failed attempts by the UN Security Council for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on Monday escalated tensions in the Middle East, where most of the global oil resources are located, heightening concerns over global supply.

While the Palestinian group Hamas welcomed the move, Israel rejected the truce demand and vowed to continue its offensive until “total victory” is achieved.

Israel’s decision also triggered concerns that Yemen’s Houthis would continue their attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes for oil and fuel shipments, in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian drone attacks on the Novoshakhtinks plant, the biggest oil refinery in southern Russia, also sparked supply risks, with major oil routes coming under threat, boosting prices.

The terrorist attacks on Moscow’s “Crocus City Hall” music hall in the evening of March 22 raised fears that terrorist attacks on oil refineries could continue in support of higher prices.

However, the strengthening of the US dollar against other currencies during the week prevented additional price rises by making oil more expensive for foreign currency holders.

The US dollar index increased by 0.01% to 104.56.

Data showing that US commercial gasoline and crude oil stockpiles rose last week indicated low demand, limiting upward oil price movements.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), commercial crude oil inventories in the country increased by about 3.2 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories increased by about 1.3 million barrels.

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