Oil prices steady on Hamas ceasefire talks

Oil prices were little changed on Monday as Israel-Hamas peace talks in Cairo tempered fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East, while U.S. inflation data dimmed the prospects of interest rate cuts anytime soon.

Brent crude futures for June, which expire on Tuesday, were down by 51 cents, or 0.6%, to $88.99 a barrel. The more active July contract fell 27 cents, or 0.3%, to $87.94 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 22 cents, or 0.3%, at $83.63 a barrel.

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Monday killed at least 20 Palestinians and wounded many others.

Markets were also on watch for the U.S. Federal Reserve’s May 1 monetary policy review.

On Friday U.S. inflation data put a damper on rate cuts in the near future, rising 2.7% in the 12 months through March, above the Fed’s target of 2%. Lower inflation would have increased the likelihood of interest rate cuts, which tend to stimulate economic growth and oil demand.