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Big Oil Shares Up As Israel-Hamas Conflict Intensifies

Share prices in Big Oil companies soared on Monday, with Shell’s share price hitting a record high, as oil markets respond to an escalation of the Hamas-Israel conflict, and its potential to widen to multiple fronts. 

On Monday at 11:20 a.m. ET, shares of Shell (NYSE:SHEL) were trading up 1.10% at $68.12 per share. 

“The critical macro concern lies with the oil market reaction. Brent crude prices have not risen materially, but a significant escalation in tensions would likely apply further upward pressure,” the Guardian cited Seema Sha, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, as saying. 

Shares of Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) were up 0.36% at $110.27, while Chevron (NYSE:CVX) shares were up 1.04%, at $165.77. 

Other big players were also trading up, though lagging behind gains made by Shell, Exxon and Chevron. BP (NYSE:BP) was trading up 0.55% at $40.23, French TotalEnergies (NYSE:TTE) was up 0.24%, and Italian Eni was up 0.15%. 

Brent crude prices surged in Asian trading on Monday to well over $90, dropping down slightly by late morning ET to $90.27, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) trading at $87.24 as of 11:28 a.m. ET. 

On Sunday, fears took hold of the market of a wider escalation of conflict in the Middle East, with the Israeli Defense Forces launching an airstrike on Syria’s Aleppo airport, and Hezbollah appearing to have stepped up its campaign against the Israelis from southern Lebanon, allegedly on orders from Iran. 

As Tel Aviv prepares for a ground offensive in Gaza, markets are concerned of further escalation on a much wider playing field. 

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In Israel, some estimates put the death toll at around 1,400 since Hamas launched its attack on October 7, while the death toll in Gaza is said to be around 2,750.

On Friday, the Israel Defense Forces ordered the evacuation of all civilians from Gaza City, and on Monday, reports said the Israelis were preparing to evacuate citizens near the border with Lebanon. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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