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Fears of broader Israel-Hamas war fade, oil prices headed for October decline 

Oil futures rose on Tuesday after a more than 3% drop in the previous session but still faced monthly losses as concerns about the Israel-Hamas conflict impacting crude supplies appear to have eroded. 

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for December delivery climbed 13 cents, or 0.16%, to $82.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) on Tuesday. However, prices were down over 9% for the month as of Monday's settlement. 

December Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained 24 cents, or 0.27%, to reach $87.69 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. It also registered a decline of over 8% for the month as of Monday. January Brent, the most actively traded contract, mostly traded sideways at $86.38 a barrel. 

In commentary cited by MarketWatch, Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, wrote that oil traders have “likely shifted into efficient market mode, waiting for signs of a definitive escalation that imperils supply before taking prices higher”.  
  
WTI has largely erased gains seen since the October 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas from Gaza, while Brent has significantly trimmed its gains since the start of the war despite continued risks of a wider conflict. 

 

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World Bank warning: Report says oil could jump above $100 if supply disrupted 

The World Bank has issued a warning in a recent report on Monday, saying that even a minor disruption in crude oil supplies due to the escalating Middle Eastern conflict may lead to the reduction of 500,000 to 2 million barrels per day in global markets. 

In such a scenario, prices might surge to a range of $93 to $102 per barrel. The situation could take a rapid turn for the worse if the current conflict expands, with a moderate disruption of 3 to 5 million barrels per day causing prices to skyrocket to as much as $121 per barrel. 

The biggest potential disruption foreseen by the World Bank could eliminate 6 to 8 million barrels of oil per day — a scale comparable to the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Under this worst-case scenario, prices could soar to $157 per barrel. 

The Israel-Hamas war has so far had minimal impact on the oil market, which “may reflect the global economy’s improved ability to absorb oil price shocks,” according to the report. 

 

Oil price forecast: ING points to oil flows from Iran as main risk to market 

The primary concern revolves around Iranian oil flows, with potential disruptions of up to 1 million barrels a day if the U.S. decides to enforce sanctions on the country's exports, according to ING commodity analysts Warren Patterson and Ewa Manthey. 

In their Commodities Feed overview on Tuesday, the pair wrote: 

“Disruptions to Iranian oil flows remain the most obvious risk to the market, which could see anywhere between 500k b/d and 1m b/d of supply lost if the US were to strictly enforce sanctions once again. Up until now, developments in the Middle East have yet to impact oil supply. In the absence of supply disruptions from the region, it is difficult to see a significant and sustained upside in prices.” 

As of now, the conflict has not impacted oil supply. 

The situation in the Middle East, however, remains fluid. Saudi Arabia's armed forces are on high alert following lethal confrontations with Yemen's Houthi rebels, supported by Iran. The rebels made an attempt to launch a missile from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, with its intended target being Israel, according to a Bloomberg report late on Monday, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. 

When considering oil and other commodities for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice. 

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