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September 01, 2020 10:18am
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Stocks, oil and the Israel attacks

The global oil market got a jolt following the attacks on Israel, as did the U.S. stock market and now investors are trying to gauge how long the instability may last.

It was a volatile session for oil and stocks following the attack on Israel by Hamas with the death climbing, with over 1,000 fatalities, and with many more wounded. 

West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude, the global benchmark both gained over 4% on Monday as investors gauged whether the conflict, which may be prolonged, will disrupt the crude markets. Even more problematic is the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, designed to provide supply in times of stress, has been dwindling as our relationship with Saudi Arabia deteriorates. 

"We've drained 60% of that over the last two years, which is one of things that Saudi Arabia is angry at us for. So I think in the medium-and-long term this will have huge implications for oil. I think oil is going back to $100 within the next couple of months" said TJM Institutional Services director James Iuorio during an interview with FOX Business. 

An update from the Department of Energy on the SPR will come Thursday. 


The U.S. Oil Fund, which tracks crude prices, gained in tandem with actual per barrel prices. 

Phil Flynn, of Price Futures Group and a FOX Business Network contributor, says the price spike appears to be measured, but the threat to crude is higher than before the attack on Israel. 

"The truth of the matter is that the so-called demand destruction that people have thought they have seen has not happened yet. That is s not to say that it won't happen. Generally speaking, demand destruction happens when we see a huge price spike not when oil prices move up in a rather orderly fashion" he wrote to clients. 


Oil majors including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Occidential and CononoPhilips rallied on oil's move. 

In a late video address on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to defeat Hamas. 

"Israel is at war. We didn’t want this war. It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way. But though Israel didn’t start this war, Israel will finish it. Once, the Jewish people were stateless. Once, the Jewish people were defenseless. No longer. Hamas will understand that by attacking us, they have made a mistake of historic proportions. We will exact a price that will be remembered by them and Israel’s other enemies for decades to come…" 

U.S. stocks curbed losses with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ending the session higher. 

The U.S. bond market was closed in observance of Columbus Day. 

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