Oil prices down as US, Russia break deadlock on Syria
Singapore: Oil prices eased in Asian trade Friday after the United States and Russia agreed a draft UN Security Council resolution on destroying Syria's chemical arms, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November, dipped 32 cents to USD 102.71, while Brent North Sea crude for November was down 16 cents at USD 109.05.
The draft US-Russia resolution, seen by AFP, does not propose immediate measures over a chemical attack in Damascus one month ago. But it allows for possible sanctions -- after a new vote - if there are breaches of an armament plan.
The 15-member Security Council held its first talks on the text yesterday and a vote could be held today with several top ministers taking part, diplomats said.
Investors had earlier feared that a possible US-led strike on Syria in retaliation for its alleged use of chemicals against its own people would spark a wider conflict in the crude-rich Middle East.
"The Syria risk is off the table with the UN agreeing on a resolution," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, told AFP.
Prices were unaffected by a rally on Wall Street that was fuelled by upbeat US jobs and housing data.
A thaw in ties between the West and Iran was also tempering prices.
A meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart yesterday has raised hopes of an easing of Western sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme. Such a move would allow the oil-rich nation to export more freely.