Crude futures shrug off Middle East turmoil

  • Market: Crude oil
  • 15/04/24

Crude oil futures were largely unmoved in early trading in Asia on 15 April, as the market watched for an indication of how Israel would respond to the weekend's unprecedented attack by Iran.

Front-month June Brent crude futures rose by 0.7pc to a high of $91.05/bl soon after markets opened, but then fell back to trade 0.2pc lower at $90.26/bl at 10.40am Singapore time (02:40 GMT). May Nymex WTI was down by 0.3pc at $85.37/bl. The threat of an Iranian attack on Israel had sent prices higher last week.

Iran fired hundreds of drones and missiles against Israel on the evening of 13 April, ushering in a new phase in a six-month conflict that is threatening regional escalation. Almost all were intercepted before they reached Israeli airspace, according to the Israel Defence Forces.

Iran, the US and regional powers appear to want to avoid any further increase in hostilities. Tehran's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Iran considers its operation to have ended. And the US is urging Israel to claim victory for its defence, in an apparent effort to discourage Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government from feeling compelled to retaliate.

Israel's response is unclear. The country's war cabinet is meeting to discuss its next steps.

Regional shipping also continues to face the risk of disruption. On 13 April, Iranian naval vessels seized the Portuguese flagged, British-owned MSC Aries container ship transiting through the Gulf of Oman.


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17/05/24

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Houston area refiners weather hurricane-force winds


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