Palestinians, including children, collect usable belongings in the heavily damaged buildings after Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on February 12, 2024. Building targeted in the Israeli attacks and surrounding structures were damaged as Israel’s air, land and sea attacks continue on the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Jehad Alshrafi/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Jehad Alshrafi | Anadolu | Getty Images

Crude oil futures held firm Monday as traders tried to decipher confusion over whether a Gaza cease-fire had been accepted.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, said in a statement the militant group informed Egypt and Qatar of its “approval of their proposal regarding a cease-fire agreement.” Israel has not yet released an official statement on the matter.

But an Israeli official told Reuters that Hamas had approved a softened Egyptian proposal that is not acceptable to Israel.

An Israeli official told NBC News, meanwhile, that the proposal Hamas accepted was not the framework agreed upon by mediators. Israel is examining the proposal and will respond, the official said.

Here are today’s energy prices:

  • West Texas Intermediate June contract: $78.16 a barrel, up 5 cents, or 0.05%. Year to date, U.S. crude oil has gained 9%.
  • Brent July contract: $83.04 a barrel, up 8 cents, or 0.10%. Year to date, the global benchmark has risen about 8%.
  • RBOB Gasoline June contract: $2.58 per gallon, up 0.9%. Year to date, gasoline futures have risen about 22%.
  • Natural Gas June contract: $2.23 per thousand cubic feet, up 4%. Year to date, gas has fallen about 11%.

Oil dropped more than 6% last week, as traders rolled back geopolitical risk premium on fears of war between Iran and Israel, and as crude inventories in the U.S. surged on weaker demand.

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WTI vs. Brent

Tensions in the Middle East are rising again after the Israel Defense Forces told some 100,000 Palestinians to leave the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas have stalled again, with the two sides accusing each other of sabotaging a deal.

Oil Prices, Energy News and Analysis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed that Israel would not submit to international pressure to end the war in Gaza until Hamas is defeated.

“If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,” Netanyahu said in a speech commemorating the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. “And I say to you, we will defeat our genocidal enemies. Never again is now.”

And Saudi Arabia raised the prices of its flagship crude destined for Asia for the third consecutive month, according to a price list seen by Bloomberg News. The price hike suggests Riyadh sees robust demand on the horizon.

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