Oil falls 2% after false rumors of a ceasefire in the Middle East

Oil prices fell more than 2% on Thursday at settlement after false market speculation that Israel had agreed to a ceasefire proposal in Gaza.

However, a Qatari official told Reuters that the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) had received a ceasefire proposal positively, but had not yet responded to it.

Brent crude futures fell $1.85, or 2.5%, to settle at $78.70 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $2.03, or 2.7%, to settle at $73.82.

Middle East tensions have recently boosted oil prices. Concerns about attacks by Yemen’s Houthi group on shipping in the Red Sea, which raise global oil trade costs and disrupt supplies, continue.

The Houthis have said they will continue to attack U.S. and British warships as long as the war in Gaza continues.

Therefore, a ceasefire in Gaza would mean a return to trade through the Red and Arabian Seas, as well as a halt to attacks on U.S. bases, which would push oil prices down, especially since they have recently risen on the back of all these tensions.

Gold on track for best week in about two months ahead of key jobs data

Gold prices are on track for their biggest weekly gain in nearly two months on Friday, as the dollar and Treasury yields retreat.

While traders await key U.S. jobs data due later in the day for clues on when the U.S. Federal Reserve may start cutting interest rates.

Strong earnings from major companies support the Nasdaq index

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META) Q4 earnings report showed that the company’s earnings beat analysts’ expectations, with revenue above expectations.

Earnings per share reached $5.33, while revenue was $40.11B. Market surveys had expected earnings per share of $4.96 and revenue of $39.02B.

Meta Platforms shares were up 8.05% to trade at $426.55 after hours following the report.

Apple’s earnings also came out, at $119.58 billion, above expectations of $118.06 billion.

Amazon’s Q4 earnings were $165.95 billion, above expectations of $170 billion.

Gold and dollar now

Gold futures are now up 0.06% to $2,072 an ounce.

While spot gold is steady at $2,055 an ounce, the metal has risen about 2% since the start of the week, on track for its best weekly gain since early December.

On the other hand, the dollar index is steady at 102.872 points.

Other metals

Silver rose 0.1% in spot trading to $23.19 an ounce, platinum was flat at $912.98, while palladium rose 0.7% to $969.32.

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