Oil drops below US$109 per barrel on proposal for Syria to surrender weapons
By Pamela Sampson, APBANGKOK -- Oil prices, which have shot up in recent days over the threat of a U.S. strike against Syria, fell below US$109 a barrel Tuesday after Damascus reacted favorably to a proposal to turn over its chemical weapons.
September 11, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
Benchmark oil for October delivery fell US$1.16 per barrel to US$108.36 at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$1.01 to close at US$109.52 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.
Oil prices have risen sharply in recent days following President Barack Obama's call for military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in retaliation for what the White House says was a chemical weapons attack against civilians.
But on Monday, there was reason to hope for a diplomatic solution when Syria's foreign minister welcomed a suggestion to move all the country's chemical weapons under international control. Analysts said it could also hurt Obama's attempts at gaining congressional support for military intervention.
Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, dropped US$1.03 to US$112.69 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 2.8 cents to US$2.774 per gallon.
— Natural gas rose 1 cent to US$3.614 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil retreated 1.8 cents to US$3.0999 per gallon.