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Oil prices have muted reaction to Israel, Iran conflict

Oil prices (BZ=F, CL=F) are on the move on Friday after Israel launched a retaliatory strike against Iran. In addition, national gas prices have begun to move higher with northeastern states in the US potentially feeling more pain at the pump due to late adaptation of summer-blend gas.

Yahoo Finance Reporter Ines Ferré joins Market Domination to break down the price movements in crude oil futures.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Market Domination.

This post was written by Nicholas Jacobino and updated by Luke Carberry Mogan.

Video transcript

BRAD SMITH: Oil prices seesawing today. Right now, we're tracking them, after Israel's retaliatory strike on Iran spooked the market overnight. And for much more on that tracking and detail, we've got "Yahoo Finance's" Ines Ferre here with a closer look at the commodity. Hey, Ines.

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INES FERRE: Hey, Brad. And we have seen that overnight, as you just mentioned, that price spike that we saw. And then prices coming right back down. So you are looking at WTI just above $82 per barrel. And Brent crude at around $87 per barrel. But again, this price spike that we saw.

And these are actually the levels that we saw last Friday going into Iran's attack on Israel over the weekend, and, then the retaliatory attack last night. That one, where we saw these prices elevate but back down again because of a limited attack.

So traders had been anticipating that that attack would be limited. So we had seen prices throughout this week that had eased a bit. But then this is temporary look. What analysts are saying is that you are starting to now calibrate the market. So that you are really looking at more of a supply-demand situation.

We are still, though, looking at year-to-date. Prices up 14% for Brent. WTI up 17%. This is also because of China's demand. Those numbers have been coming out for GDP in China better air than expected. So you are seeing still demand coming out of China that's able to support these prices.

Now, whether or not throughout the rest of the year, we're going to see these prices. Look, we're seeing some analysts are calling for $90 Brent crude around May. But then you are going to see those prices easing, maybe, $85 Brent crude average for the second half of the year.

Nevertheless, a rally, but elevated prices for 2024, Brad.

BRAD SMITH: And Ines, gasoline prices have been on the rise nationally. The West Coast seeing some of its largest increases over the past month. What about Northeastern states? Are they likely to see an outsized spike at the pump?

INES FERRE: We are seeing an outsized spike at the pump. And that is because of the more expensive gasoline blend that has come into effect in the Northeastern states. Think about New York. Think about New Jersey, New England. So these states were the last ones to switch over to that summer blend.

And so we are seeing a spike in those prices. You are going to be seeing those prices going higher into the weekend. That's a national average that you're looking at right now, $3.68 per gallon. Around the same that we saw last year.

But on the West Coast, we are also seeing those elevated prices for gasoline. California seeing an over a month as period, prices spiking around $0.50 per gallon. Now, California, historically, is a place where your gasoline is higher because of increased taxes and regulations around their gasoline. But, nevertheless, you saw that spike because of refineries.

Now, the East Coast is seeing these spikes. Analysts, though, are saying that we should be hitting peak, even maybe as soon as this weekend for these gasoline prices. They'll go up again in the summertime. But we should be seeing some cooling off in some areas in the near term.