Oil increases in volatile trade

Oil Lifts Slightly as Iran and Israel Trade Direct Strikes

On Friday, oil prices increased slightly as the market awaited the potential fallout of escalating tension between Iran and Israel.

The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for June delivery advanced 0.50% to $83.14 per barrel on April 19. However, industry watchers anticipate a 1.98% plunge to $81.49 a barrel in the coming market session for the American benchmark.

Meanwhile, Brent oil June futures jumped 0.29% to $87.29 a barrel, ending a four-day losing streak. Nonetheless, market analysts predict a 0.66% slide to $86.71 per barrel in the following trading day.

On April 14, Iran launched a barrage of missile and drone strikes on Israel, 99.00% of which were blocked by Israeli defense forces. The attack was in response to an April 01 strike on a compound in Damascus, Syria, that killed a top Iranian diplomat.

Nevertheless, black gold still ended the week lower despite the possibility of an unprecedented war in the Middle East. WTI recorded a weekly loss of 2.94%, while Brent declined by 3.49% during the five-day period.

Lastly, the EIA expects a build in crude oil inventories of 1.70 million barrels in the week ending April 19. It would mark a narrower accumulation than the 2.74 million barrels added in the preceding week.

Iran-Israel Tension Unlikely to Disrupt Oil Supply

Surprisingly, the threat of Iran getting directly involved in the Israel-Hamas had little impact on oil prices. Geopolitical experts cited Iranian Major General Mohammad Bagheri’s statement that his country’s reprisal has ended with the April 14 bombardment.

On the other hand, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called for the Security Council to condemn the attack. Erdan also demanded that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps be designated as a terror organization.

Trade specialists were quick to point out that Israel did not threaten Iran with revenge and only raised the issue to the UN. They claim that neither Israel nor Iran wants to go to war with each other, alleviating concerns of oil supply disruption.

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