London– Oil prices on Monday fell again as there are fears that Israel’s move to expand its military operations in Gaza can lead to a regional conflict which can adversely affect the global economy, media reports said.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, fell by 1.2 per cent to $89 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the US benchmark, dropped by 1.3 per cent to trade at $84 a barrel. Last week, Brent fell by 1.8 per cent and WTI by 3.6 per cet.

Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in on Monday that while the risks of regional escalation are still clear and present, the ground offensive in Gaza had been widely expected, CNN reported.

“Although supply concerns are still hanging around, keeping a floor on oil prices, concerns about a drag on (global) growth ahead leading to weaker demand have prompted a fall in oil prices,” she said.

Concerns about global economic growth were underscored again when Germany — Europe’s biggest economy — reported that its gross domestic product shrank in the third quarter as consumers reined in spending, CNN reported.

The World Bank said that a ratcheting up in the fighting in Gaza could push global commodity markets, including oil markets, into “uncharted waters,” and laid out three scenarios under which oil prices could surge. (IANS)