Oil tumbles on profit-taking after Syria fears
Singapore: Oil tumbled in Asian trade on Thursday as investors took profits after concerns over a possible US-led military strike on Syria had pushed prices to multi-month highs.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in October, fell 77 cents to USD 109.33 in mid-morning trade after rising to its highest level since May 2011 the day before.
Brent North Sea crude for October delivery shed 76 cents to USD 115.85 after hitting its highest price in six months yesterday.
"Traders are taking a breather," Kenny Kan, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP.
Markets are "keenly watching" developments leading up to any strike against Syria to punish the government for its alleged use of chemical weapons against rebels.
"Even though Syria is not a key oil producer, the violence in Syria could potentially disrupt other Middle Eastern oil exporters and cause the driving up of oil prices," said Lee Chen Hoay, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
Sanjeev Gupta, head of Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at Ernst and Young, added: "Crude prices will be volatile till a clearer picture about the impact of any attack by Western powers on Syria emerges, and sharp spikes in prices are possible in the short term."