Oil prices are moving slightly higher amid ongoing concerns about the crisis in the Middle East after their sharp decline, BTA reported, citing Reuters.

Brent futures from the North Sea, which is a reference for Europe, rose 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $76.30 a barrel.

U.S. crude prices rose 0.1 percent, or 6 cents, to $70.83 a barrel.

Yesterday, the value of contracts fell between 3 and 4 percent due to sharp price cuts by top exporter Saudi Arabia and an increase in OPEC production.

"Saudi Arabia's sharp price cuts and increased OPEC production have offset supply concerns caused by escalating geopolitical tensions in the Middle East," said CMC Markets analyst Leon Li.

On the war in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said its battle against Hamas would rage throughout 2024, raising concerns among market participants that the conflict could escalate into a regional crisis and disrupt oil supplies in the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv late yesterday to brief Israeli officials of his two-day talks with Arab leaders on ending the war.

A Reuters poll late last week found OPEC oil production rose in December, while output growth in Angola, Iraq and Nigeria offset continued cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the broader OPEC+ alliance.

Higher supply prompted Saudi Arabia to cut the official sale price in February of its leading Arab light crude to Asia to the lowest level in 27 months.

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