Oil futures were little changed early Friday, leaving them on track for weekly declines after a selloff the previous session sparked by news reports citing Qatari officials that indicated an Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage deal were imminent.
Qatar subsequently made clear a deal had not yet been reached, Reuters reported.
West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery
rose 2 cents to $73.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
April Brent crude
the global benchmark, was 3 cents higher at $78.73 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. Both WTI and Brent were on track for weekly declines of 5% or more.
News reports said OPEC+ — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia — agreed this week to leave its production policy unchanged and decide in March whether to extend output cuts put in place last year for the first quarter.
Meanwhile, traders await retaliatory strikes by the U.S. after a drone attack by an Iran-backed group last weekend killed three U.S. troops in Jordan.
The market “is focused on any update on ceasefire talks as well as potential incremental datapoints from the [White House] on more retaliatory strikes,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note.