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WTI Crude gains for 4th day with Gaza ceasefire talks in focus

Futures on US West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil rose for a fourth straight trading day on Thursday, as Israel rejected a ceasefire offer from Hamas, while US gasoline stocks decreased last week.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected Hamas’ most recent offer for a ceasefire and return of hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that negotiation toward an agreement was still possible.

A Palestinian Hamas delegation led by senior official Khalil Al-Hayya was expected to travel to Cairo today for ceasefire negotiations with Egypt and Qatar.

Meanwhile, US crude oil stocks went up by 5.521 million barrels in the week ended on February 2nd, or the most since mid-November, Energy Information Administration data showed. In comparison, market consensus had pointed to a 1.895 million barrel increase.

On the other hand, US gasoline inventories dropped by 3.15 million barrels last week, confounding market expectations of a build of 140,000 barrels.

The inventory drop came as US refinery margins continued to strengthen.

WTI Crude Oil Futures for March delivery were last edging up 0.11% to trade at $74.12 per barrel.

At the same time, Brent Oil Futures for April delivery were up 0.15% on the day to trade at $79.35 per barrel.

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