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Oil prices fall below $108 as Syria fears ease

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PAMELA SAMPSON, AP Business Writer

BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil fell below $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 $1.13 to $107.67 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.30 to close at $108.80 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

Britain's parliament on Thursday refused to go along with Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to intervene in Syria, whose government is suspected of a chemical weapons attack earlier this month that killed more than 300 civilians.

Another hurdle in forming an international coalition to undertake a military strike against Syria took place at the U.N., when Russia blocked British efforts to force a resolution approving action.

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 65 cents $114.50 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Heating oil lost 1 cent to $3.178 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 2.2 cents to $3.64 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline was down 1.4 cents at $2.916 per gallon.

 

 

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