September 3, 2013 - 10:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Oil prices fell further Tuesday, Sept 3, as President Barack Obama's struggle to win support for U.S. military intervention in Syria diminished expectations of an attack, The Associated Press reports.
Benchmark crude for October delivery was down 95 cents to $106.70 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.15 to close at $107.65 on Friday.
While Syria is not a major oil producer, it straddles a region that is. The possibility of a wider conflict, one that could interrupt production and shipping routes in the region, has pushed oil prices higher in recent days. Conversely, prices have slid as the prospect of a U.S. attack diminished.
Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, was down 12 cents to $114.21 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
"The upside to Brent oil prices has been tempered somewhat by the diminished expectation of a US military strike, though they haven't fallen as much as US prices which have slid back much more sharply," Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a commentary.
"Concerns that Syria might retaliate when the U.S. eventually strikes have already been priced in by investors," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, told AFP. "The focus for now will be on the global macroeconomic situation, and investor sentiment right now is faring better than in previous months."
The potential for a U.S. strike on Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons has been put on the backburner after President Barack Obama said he will seek support for action from Congress, which will return from recess on Sept 9.