Intense fighting is underway in a region that holds much of the world’s petroleum resources. Yet, after a few days of anxiety following the bloody Oct. 7 raids by Hamas militants in Israel, energy markets have been slumping. Brent crude, the international oil bench mark, is now selling for about $80 a barrel, cheaper than when the fighting started.
Why aren’t prices higher? A main reason, analysts say, is that the fighting, no matter how vicious, has produced little disruption to petroleum supplies, leading traders to conclude that there is no immediate threat.
"While traders realize there is an increased risk, that hasn’t led to a lot of precautionary buying,” said Richard Bronze, head of geopolitics at Energy Aspects, a London-based market research firm.