At 9:52 am on Thursday, April Brent oil futures were at $79.53, up by 0.40 per cent; and March crude oil futures on WTI (West Texas Intermediate) were at $74.15, up by 0.39 per cent.
February crude oil futures were trading at ₹6,150 on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning, up by 0.31 per cent from the previous close of ₹6,131. March futures were trading at ₹6,183 as against the previous close of ₹6,162, up by 0.34 per cent.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected the offer by the Gaza for a ceasefire. Terming the offer as delusional, Netanyahu informed a media conference that there was no alternative for Israel but to bring down the collapse of Hamas.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, expressed hopes that there is still room for negotiations for an agreement on this issue.
Market fears that the escalation of tension in the Middle East region could impact the oil supply to the global markets.
Another factor that helped the crude oil market is an increase in the demand for fuel products in the US. The Petroleum status report by the US EIA (Energy Information Administration) for the week ending February 2 showed that total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 3.1 million barrels from last week and were about 1 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year. The market was expecting it to decline by 1,40,000 barrels.
US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 5.5 million barrels for the week ending February 2 compared to the previous week. At 427.4 million barrels, US crude oil inventories were about 4 per cent below the five-year average for this time of year.
Meanwhile, consumer prices in China declined by 0.8 per cent in January for the fourth successive month. However, market was expecting it to decline by 0.5 per cent.
February zinc futures were trading at ₹215.80 on MCX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹215.25, down by 0.26 per cent.
On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), April kapas contracts were trading at ₹1,485 in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹1,479, up by 0.37 per cent.
February guar seed futures were trading at ₹5,300 on NCDEX in the initial trading hour of Thursday morning against the previous close of ₹5,316, down by 0.30 per cent.