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Oil Prices
Oil Prices

Oil Prices Up; as Turkey-Syria tension escalates

(Dp-news)
Agencies- Oil prices rose Thursday as growing tensions between Turkey and Syria caused worries about the reliability of Middle East crude supplies, reports said. It said Crude-oil futures rose in Asian trade as a growing conflict between Turkey and Syria raised concerns over oil supply from the Middle East.

"Supply worries stemming from escalating Middle East tensions [are] propping up prices," analysts at ANZ Bank said in a note to clients.

According to economical reports the Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 36 cents to $91.61 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.14 to finish at $91.25 per barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday after some mixed economic signals.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, also rose 57 cents to $113.75 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

"Oil product inventories are also an issue for the market," said Tim Evans, energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective, commenting on why U.S. crude prices outpaced Brent's rise in trading in New York.

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, reports indicated.

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.

Many observers fear the civil war in Syria could grow into a wider regional conflict that could threaten oil supplies from Middle East producers. The Middle East and North Africa account for about a third of global oil production.

Oil prices also were tempered briefly on Tuesday when Saudi Arabia reiterated its intention to keep high oil prices from harming a sputtering global economy.

OPEC's top producer is likely to continue pumping crude at a 30-year high around 10 million barrels per day (bpd) through October, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said, helping compensate for curbed exports from sanctions-hampered Iran.

Naimi said oil prices were still too high and Riyadh would like Brent to fall closer to $100 a barrel.

More supply is also on the way from neighboring Iraq, OPEC's second-biggest producer after Saudi. Exports this month are expected to rise above 2.8 million bpd, the highest in decades, and efforts are underway to more than double output by 2020.

Oil prices received another push-support from higher regional equities following a fresh capital injection in the money market by the People's Bank of China. The bank introduced 265 billion Yuan into the money market in an attempt to ease monetary conditions and strengthen the slowing economy, fuelling expectations that Beijing will introduce further supportive measures to boost economic growth.

The fourth quarter could see further declines in oil prices because of a potential increase in oil supply as North Sea maintenance is stipulated to be completed this month and as Iraq races to be the second-highest crude oil exporter in OPEC, replacing Iran, OCBC Bank said in a research report.

"The high U.S. stocks and falling demand convince us that the oil market remains adequately supplied," the bank said.

Oil prices have already come under early pressure from continuing worries about economic growth after the International Monetary Fund said risks to global financial stability had risen in the past six months, leaving confidence "very fragile".
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