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Crude oil futures lower as markets digest US-led strike in Syria

New York (Platts)--15 Apr 2018 1053 pm EDT/253 GMT


Crude oil futures were declining Monday morning during Asian trade as the oil complex began the week in negative territory after the strike by the US, UK and France on suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities proved limited in scope.

At 9:39 am Singapore time (0139 GMT), ICE June Brent futures contract was 73 cents/b (1.01%) lower from Friday's settle at $71.85/b. NYMEX May light sweet crude was 61 cents/b (0.91%) lower at $66.78/b.

Crude futures had rallied over $5/b last week after US President Donald Trump threatened to bomb Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack April 7 in the town of Douma.

That rally also pushed NYMEX crude above its Bollinger Band upper limit, suggesting the contract had veered into overbought territory.

Without signs of the Syrian conflict escalating over the weekend, some traders may be taking profits leading to Monday's pullback.

Syria produces very little oil, but traders were concerned that a broadening conflict with Assad's supporters -- Russia and Iran -- could disrupt oil flows out of the Middle East.

US defense secretary Jim Mattis said in a news briefing Friday that "right now we have no additional attacks planned," although the Trump administration did not rule out additional attacks if Assad continues to use chemical weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the airstrike, but so far there has been no escalation of the conflict with Russian and Iranian forces.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the US-led airstrikes on Syria a "crime."

The UN Security Council rejected an effort by Russia to pass a resolution condemning the airstrikes during an emergency session held Saturday.

--Geoffrey Craig, geoffrey.craig@spglobal.com

--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com




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