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Oil prices rise amid Turkey-Syria tensions

BANGKOK--Oil prices rose Thursday as growing tensions between Turkey and Syria caused worries about the reliability of Middle East crude supplies.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 48 U.S. cents to US$91.73 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$1.14 to finish at US$91.25 per barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday after some mixed economic signals.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 86 cents to US$115.19 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Turkish jets on Wednesday forced a Syrian passenger plane to land at Ankara airport on suspicion that it might be carrying weapons or other military equipment to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in its civil war against Syrian rebels.

Escalating tensions between the two former allies are “one of the things that are keeping oil prices somewhat firm to stronger,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

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