Oil prices were treading water early Wednesday after falling for three straight sessions and wiping out more than half of the gains that followed the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery
gained 10 cents, or just over 0.1%, to $83.87 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
December Brent crude
the international benchmark, gained 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $88.35 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.
gained 24 cents, or 1.1%, to $2.29 a gallon on Nymex, while November heating oil
was down 0.7% at $3.02 a gallon.
November natural gas
gained 27 cents, or 0.9%, to $2.99 per million British thermal units.
Disappointing data on European economic activity helped weigh on oil prices Tuesday, as did the release of more Hamas hostages and the delay of the expected Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.
“The fears of a further escalation in hostilities between Israel and Hamas remain, but have lost some of their intensity,” said David Morrison, senior market analyst at Trade Nation, in emailed commentary.
WTI crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, started the month at just under $83 a barrel, and peaked just shy of $88.50 a barrel late last week, according to FactSet data. More than half of that gain has now been reversed.
Traders now await the release of official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Macquarie forecasts a supply climb of 1.1 million barrels in U.S. crude oil for the week ended Oct. 20, along with weekly inventory declines of 1.3 million barrels for gasoline and 3.3 million barrels for distillates.