Crude oil prices down as US, Russia break deadlock over Syria

PTI Singapore | Updated on March 12, 2018

Crude oil prices eased in Asian trade today after the United States and Russia agreed a draft UN Security Council resolution on destroying Syria’s chemical arms, analysts said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November, dipped 32 cents to $102.71, while Brent North Sea crude for November was down 16 cents at $109.05.

The draft US-Russia resolution, seen by AFP, does not propose immediate measures over a chemical attack in Damascus one month ago. But it allows for possible sanctions — after a new vote — if there are breaches of an armament plan.

The 15-member Security Council held its first talks on the text yesterday and a vote could be held today with several top ministers taking part, diplomats said.

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

“The Syria risk is off the table with the UN agreeing on a resolution,” Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, told AFP.

Prices were unaffected by a rally on Wall Street that was fuelled by upbeat US jobs and housing data.

A thaw in ties between the West and Iran was also tempering prices.

A meeting between US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and his Iranian counterpart yesterday has raised hopes of an easing of Western sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme. Such a move would allow the oil-rich nation to export more freely.

Published on September 27, 2013

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