Oil Futures End Lower on Israeli-Hamas Ceasefire Talks

Brian L Milne
By  Brian L. Milne , DTN Refined Fuels Editor

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- Nearest delivered oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange and Brent on the Intercontinental Exchange settled lower Monday, with the international and U.S. crude benchmarks backing off Friday's 24-week highs on a modest easing of geopolitical risk.

Talks seeking a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza resumed in Egypt, dialing down the risk premium in oil prices a degree, while Israel announced on Sunday it had withdrawn forces from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to the Associated Press. The troop withdrawal followed the end of a key phase of Israel's offensive against Hamas allowing for a repositioning of forces for an attack on Rafah, considered the last stronghold of the terrorist group.

Despite the developments in Gaza, Israel remains on alert for an attack from Iran or its proxies after a missile strike on April 1 killed two Iranian generals in Damascus, Syria. Tehran has vowed to respond to the attack.

At settlement, NYMEX May West Texas Intermediate futures were down $0.48 at $86.43 bbl, and ICE June Brent eased $0.79 to $90.38 bbl. NYMEX May RBOB futures settled down $0.04 at $2.7486 gallon, and May ULSD futures ended $0.0443 lower at $2.7287 gallon.

RBOB and ULSD futures moved lower after testing resistance on Friday, with the gasoline contract reversing lower from a $2.8172 gallon seven-month high.

Karim Bastati can be reached at karim.bastati@dtn.com

Brian Milne