Oil was steady as Israel held off on its ground invasion of Gaza and said Iran-backed Hezbollah risked dragging neighboring Lebanon into the conflict.
(Bloomberg) — Oil was steady as Israel held off on its ground invasion of Gaza and said Iran-backed Hezbollah risked dragging neighboring Lebanon into the conflict.
Global benchmark Brent held near $92 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was little changed at around $88 a barrel after two weeks of gains. Israel reported that anti-tank missiles were fired again from Lebanon Sunday and that it had intercepted a drone. An airbase in Iraq that hosts US and international forces was targeted by rockets in an ongoing escalation of hostilities drawing in regional militia.
Oil has advanced about 8% since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, designated a terrorist group by the US and the European Union. There are concerns the conflict will spread to other states including Iran, and even potentially draw in the US, which is increasing its local military presence. The region supplies about a third of the world’s crude.
A widely expected ground offensive by Israel into the Gaza Strip was delayed — due to pressure from US and European governments — in order to buy time for efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. An American mother and her daughter were released on Friday through the mediation of Qatar.
Diplomatic efforts from leaders of western nations continued, meanwhile, with French President Emmanuel Macron expected to visit Israel on Tuesday. Aid was also trickling to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border.
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