Oil prices are swinging both ways today. Market sentiment is being influenced by expectations that easing US sanctions on Venezuela could bring more oil to the market and fears that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement could spread across the region.
At around 18:45 CET, the price of North Sea Brent crude oil was up 0.4 percent at $91.86 a barrel, having fallen as low as $89.58 a barrel during the day. U.S. light WTI crude oil gained 0.7 percent to trade at $88.97 a barrel after falling as low as $86.60 a barrel.
Oil prices the previous session were up about two percent. This was caused by fears of global supply disruptions after Iran called for an oil embargo on Israel over the Gaza conflict, and a bigger-than-expected drop in US inventories.
Japan today urged Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to increase their supplies to stabilise the world oil market. Rising fuel prices amid the conflict could have a negative impact on the global economy. Japan is the fourth largest buyer of oil in the world.
U.S. crude oil and fuel inventories fell last week due to rising demand for diesel and heating oil, data from the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed. Crude oil inventories fell by 4.5 million barrels and gasoline by 2.4 million barrels.