Oil prices rose on Thursday following Israel’s rejection of a ceasefire offer from Hamas and a weaker dollar. Brent crude futures increased by 0.4% to $79.56 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 0.4% to $74.17 a barrel.
Tensions in the wider Middle East have kept the market unsettled since October, with little progress in resolving the Gaza conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned down Hamas’ latest ceasefire proposal, but U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated room for negotiation.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian Hamas delegation, led by senior official Khalil Al-Hayya, was set to hold ceasefire talks with Egypt and Qatar in Cairo.
A weaker dollar also supported oil prices, making crude more affordable for traders holding other currencies. The dollar index fell to 104.00 at 0730 GMT.