Oil and gold prices experienced a decline on Monday morning as Israel refrained from launching a ground invasion of Gaza, despite expectations. The ongoing violence in the Middle East has raised concerns about potential disruptions in oil supplies from the region, leading investors to turn to safe-haven assets like gold. Fortunately, the conflict has not escalated or spread to other countries at this point.
It all began on October 7, when Hamas launched attacks on Israel from Gaza. In response, Israel advised residents of Gaza to relocate to southern areas, possibly in preparation for a ground assault on the northern part of the region. Over the weekend, Israel continued to carry out airstrikes. On a positive note, a convoy from Egypt successfully delivered essential supplies such as food, water, and medicine to Gaza for the first time since the initial Hamas attack.
In addition to the situation in Gaza, there were also minor skirmishes between Israeli forces and Hezbollah along the border with Lebanon. Although tensions in the region remain high, they have not escalated into a broader conflict just yet. However, investors are concerned that the situation could involve major oil producers like Iran or Saudi Arabia.
As for oil prices, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, recorded a 0.8% decrease, reaching $87.38 per barrel. At the end of last week, prices had briefly surpassed $90. On the other hand, Brent crude, the international standard, saw a 0.6% decline, settling at $91.64.
Meanwhile, gold, which had been flirting with the $2,000-per-ounce mark, experienced a slight drop of 0.2%, to $1989.90.