Oil prices lost ground as Mideast geopolitical tension eases

SINGAPORE: Oil prices slipped 1 per cent in early Asian trade on Monday as tensions in the Middle East eased after Israel withdrew more soldiers from southern Gaza and committed to fresh talks on a potential ceasefire in the six-month conflict.

Brent crude futures dropped 94 cents, or 1 per cent, to US$90.23 a barrel by 2253 GMT after hitting a session low of US$90.01.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at US$86.01 a barrel, down 90 cents, or 1 per cent, after falling to as low as US$85.80.

Israel and Hamas sent teams to Egypt for fresh talks on a potential ceasefire ahead of the Eid holidays, easing tensions in the Middle East that drove up oil prices by more than 4 per cent last week on concerns of supply disruption.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Sunday that Israel is ready to handle any scenario that may arise with Iran, after Tehran threatened to retaliate for the killing of Iranian generals on April 1.

The world's top exporter, Saudi Arabia, raised official selling prices for all crude grades to Asia, in line with expectations.

U.S. oil rigs rose two to 508 last week while gas rigs fell by two to 110, their lowest since Jan 2022, Baker Hughes said in its report on Friday. - Reuters

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