Market Commentary

Oil and Dollar Surge as Middle East Conflict Erupts Again

Rahul Joshua
6 Feb 2024 · 1 minute read

U.S. stocks rose following reassuring statements from two voting members of the Federal Reserve's rate panel. Fed Vice Chair Philip Jefferson expressed that officials are in a position to proceed cautiously in response to the recent uptick in Treasury yields. 

Earlier, Fed Bank of Dallas President Lorie Logan suggested that the surge in long-term bond rates might reduce the necessity for the central bank to tighten its monetary policy.

Meanwhile, oil prices erupted higher after Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday. U.S. crude futures experienced a notable jump of more than 5% before trimming some gains, likely due to tensions in the Middle East. 

Occidental (OXY:US) rose 4.5% while Chevron (CVX:US) – the most exposed U.S. oil company in the region – jumped 2.8% on the back of the higher oil prices. Exxon Mobil (XOM:US) shares jumped 3.5%.

Natural gas prices surged in Europe, while in the U.S. futures market, they showed modest gains. The dollar initially strengthened amid concerns about the Middle East conflict but later reversed its gains to finish the day relatively unchanged.

Safe-haven assets like gold, the yen, and global bonds also advanced in response to the market conditions.

This week, the focus remains on the Federal Reserve, with scheduled speeches from Raphael Bostic, Christopher Waller, Neel Kashkari, and Mary Daly on Tuesday. 

Lawmakers Dan Sullivan, Michael Guest, Tommy Tuberville, Kevin Hern, and Michael McCaul were all trading shares of major oil companies recently. Most notably, Mr. McCaul was aggressively selling CVX stock in May this year.