Brent oil surges to six-month highs on Syria fears

27th August 2013, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices soared on Tuesday, with Brent crude striking six-month highs on Middle East supply concerns amid the threat of possible Western military action against Syria, analysts said.

Brent North Sea crude oil at one stage reached $114.17 -- the highest point since late February. Brent went on to trade at $113.98 a barrel, up $3.25 compared with Monday's close.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery October, was up $3.03 to $108.95 a barrel in Tuesday trading, after reaching a one-month high of $109.32 earlier in the day.

"Crude oil is sharply higher today with both the major contracts up," noted Fawad Razaqzada, an analyst at traders GFT Markets.

"Escalating fears about the possibility of Western military action in response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria is boosting the appetite for the black gold."

On Monday, Washington warned Syria it would face action over the "moral obscenity" of a chemical weapons attack last week, which independent medical agency Doctors Without Borders has said left at least 355 people dead from "neurotoxic symptoms".

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said on Tuesday that his country would defend itself in case of any Western military strikes against it.

"We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves," Muallem said in a press conference in Damascus.

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© 2013 AFP

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