Oil prices remained steady today over supply worries caused by the confrontation between Israel and Palestine and the uncertainties of the global economic outlook.
Brent crude rose by eight cents to $108.19 a barrel, while US oil fell eight cents to $85.37, reports Reuters.
Investors were in a panic over possible intervention by Arab oil producers in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which may disrupt the supply lines coming from the region.
The Middle East unrest has also resulted in the increase of Brent futures over US benchmark, which was impacted by US-centric factors such as higher inventories, weak demand growth outlook and a potential financial crisis.
The US Energy Administration said that its crude stockpiles rose nearly 1.1 million barrels, below estimates for a build of 1.9 million barrels in the last week, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles declined along the East Coast, the fuel distribution system of which is still to recover from the recent storm.
Investors have also showed concerns about further supply disruption from the Middle East, as tensions between the West and Iran regarding its controversial nuclear programme still remain high.
Diplomats believe that Iran's uranium enrichment in an underground nuclear plant is likely to further complicate the efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute.
Image: Scale model of a nuclear power plant in Iran. Photo courtesy of foam.