Oil prices rise as market monitors Gaza cease-fire talks, OPEC production cuts


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the annual National Prayer Breakfast at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 1, 2024. 
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Crude oil futures fell Tuesday after President Joe Biden indicated that a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war could come in the next week.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for April fell 17 cents, or 0.22%, to $77.41 a barrel. Brent April futures dropped 15 cents, or 0.18%, to $82.38 a barrel.

“My national security adviser tells me that we’re close — close but not done yet,” Biden told reporters in New York City. “My hope is by next Monday we will have a ceasefire.”

In a television appearance, the president said “there’s been an agreement by the Israelis that they would not engage in activities during Ramadan as well in order to give us time to get all the hostages out.”

But senior Hamas official downplayed hopes for a ceasefire unless there is an agreement that leads to a permanent end to the fighting or the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

“So far, everything that is being proposed here and there does not meet these conditions,” Ahmed Abdel Hadi told Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV channel. “Therefore, we are not concerned with dealing with everything that is presented because it does not meet what I mentioned.”