Fuel prices across Indian cities were raised for the first time since 14 July. After a cut on Saturday, rates remained unchanged on Sunday. On Monday morning, however, petrol price per litre was increased by 9 paise each to Rs 76.25 in Delhi, Rs 79.14 in Kolkata, Rs 83.70 in Mumbai and Rs 79.20 in Chennai, according to the state-owned oil retailer IOC's (Indian Oil Corporation) website.
Diesel, on the other hand, was hiked by 14 paise per litre in metro cities to Rs 67.75 in Delhi, Rs 70.51 in Kolkata, Rs 71.93 in Mumbai and Rs 71.55 in Chennai.
The increase in the fuel prices could be a result of the international crude oil benchmark Brent's 1.7 percent weekly gain in the last week. The rise in Brent futures in the last week was due to the more than expected drop in US inventories and temporary closure of one of Saudi Arabia's important shipping routes-the Red Sea strait.
The halt in the movement of oil shipments through the strategic shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb was after an attack on two big oil tankers by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement according to a Reuters report. Many of Saudi Arabia's ships have to pass through Bab al-Mandeb to get to the Suez Canal towards Europe and the SUMED pipeline in Egypt.
On Monday, however, Brent crude futures fell by 5 cents to $74.24 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 15 cents to $68.84 per barrel, indicating a mixed trend in global markets.