Oil futures were being watched as a bellwether late Sunday as Western diplomats and leaders warned Iran not to wade into the Israel-Hamas war, as Israeli forces appeared on the verge of a ground invasion of Gaza. “The energy markets are the first derivative to drive broad market sentiment this week, with crude and Nat Gas leading investors to trade volatility (options), as well as classic hedges such as gold and Treasuries,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne-based broker Pepperstone, in a note.
Crude opened slightly lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude futures
falling 30 cents, or 0.3%, to $87.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Sunday night. See: Israel-Gaza conflict threatens to reawaken U.S. inflation, investors worry Axios on Saturday reported that Iran had delivered a message to Israel that it didn’t want an escalation of the Israel-Hamas war, but would have no choice but to intervene if the Israeli operation in Gaza continued. On Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister warned of escalation, saying others in the region were prepared to act, Reuters reported, citing Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency. “If the Zionist aggressions do not stop, the hands of all parties in the region are on the trigger,” the Fars report said, quoting Hossein Amirabdollahian. Israel’s military on Sunday declared its northern border with Leban …