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Reuters: Oil prices surge on fears of Mideast conflict adding to supply tightness

Article published: October 8, 2023

IB Economics Syllabus: Microeconomics (demand and supply, non-price determinants of supply)

Due to the escalating military tension between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, global oil prices have significantly grew. The fears of a broader conflict potentially disrupting oil supply from the Middle East have been the primary driver behind this price hike. Brent crude saw an increase of 4.2%, settling at $88.15 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 4.3%, closing at $86.38 a barrel. This surge comes after a notable decline in prices the previous week due to a gloomy macroeconomic outlook. The conflict also creates challenges to the potential rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which could have seen normalized ties in exchange for a defense deal with the U.S.

IB Economics (IA) Commentary Suggestions:

You could discuss how conflicts in one region can influence oil prices globally. For a deeper analysis, consider using diagrams like the Demand and Supply Diagram and the Production Possibility Curve (PPC) from the IB Economics syllabus. Another angle is to explore the potential benefits of countries collaborating in trade and how peace can facilitate better trade relations. The key concept to focus on in this article is interdependence.

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