Prices of oil finish trading under US$108 as Syria worries ease up

By Pamela Sampson, AP

BANGKOK — The price of oil fell below US$108 a barrel Friday after British lawmakers refused to approve military action against Syria, easing concerns about international intervention in the country’s civil war.

Benchmark oil for October delivery was down US$1.20 to US$107.60 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$1.30 to close at US$108.80 a barrel on Thursday.

Dropping oil prices reflected the relief traders felt.

“We might see oil come off a little bit,” said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia. “But if the situation escalates over the weekend, that might be a different story.”

Syria is not a major oil producer but a widening conflict there could affect major producers in the region or disrupt supply routes.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes, fell 26 cents US$114.90 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Heating oil lost 1.3 cents to US$3.175 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1.2 cents to US$3.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline was down 2.2 cents at US$2.909 per gallon.