Crude oil prices down as Syria strike fears recede

PTI Singapore | Updated on March 12, 2018

Oil prices fell further in Asian trade today on receding fears of a disruption in West Asian supply after a US-Russia deal to avert a Western military strike on Syria, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in October, eased 68 cents to $105.91 in mid-morning trade, while Brent North Sea crude for November declined 35 cents to $109.72.

“Crude oil prices fell after a Russia-United States agreement was established to gather and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons,” Teoh Say Hwa, head of investment at Phillip Futures in Singapore, said in a note.

“This helped to ease investor (concerns) as the risk premium attached to possible US military intervention in Syria is now being removed,” she said.

WTI dropped $1.62 in New York trade yesterday, while Brent eased $1.63 as investors reacted to the week-end deal between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014.

Investors had earlier feared that a possible US-led strike on Syria in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people would spark a wider conflict in the crude-rich West Asia.

Meanwhile, traders are also awaiting the outcome of the Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting tomorrow.

The policymakers are widely expected to announce the start of a pull-back of the central bank’s asset purchase programme, known as quantitative easing (QE).

“Regardless of the outcome of the Fed meeting, the market is pricing in the possibility that a more dovish stance will be taken,” said Kenny Kan, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

Published on September 17, 2013

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