Oil prices were boosted today because of fears over supply disruptions from the Middle East, as clashes continued between Palestine and Israel.
Brent crude futures rose by 15 cents to $109.98 a barrel, while US crude surged 19 cents to reach $86.94, reports Reuters.
Despite overnight peace talks, the ongoing Isreali-Palestinian conflict continued. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in Jerusalem in the early hours of Wednesday, seeking a truce while Hamas, the Islamist movement controlling Gaza, and Egypt hoped for a ceasfire yesterday.
Investors are also worried about the economic outlook in the US. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that failure to resolve a budget crisis could lead to recession in the country, the world’s biggest consumer of crude.
However, recent US housing and oil inventory data has indicated positive signs in the economy, easing the concerns of investors to some extent.
In Europe, France lost its triple-A status by the rating agency Moody’s because of uncertainties regarding its fiscal and economic outlook, impacting oil prices.
Prices were also supported by the worries over oil demand after eurozone finance ministers failed to reach an agreement on the next set of loans to Greece.