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Oil prices slide from Syria-fuelled highs

10 september 2013, 12:24
Oil prices lost support Monday after hitting 28-month highs over fears of fallout from a possible US military attack on Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, AFP reports.

The markets also shrugged off buoyant economic data from China and Japan, with the latter's second quarter growth rate revised higher to 0.9 percent and China's August trade surplus coming in larger than expected.

In New York trade, the benchmark WTI crude for October delivery lost $1.01 from Friday to finish at $109.52 a barrel.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for October settled at $113.72 a barrel, down $2.40 from Friday.

Some of the weakness appeared to stem from the details of China's August trade report, which showed oil imports falling.

The data "shows that China imported considerably less crude oil in August than in the previous month," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Paul Christopher, chief international strategist at Wells Fargo, said prices could remain elevated even if the Syrian situation calms.

The main driver for recent price rises are the worker strikes and blockades on Libya's oil facilities, he said.

"We think the more likely explanation for oil's rally is a significant loss of one million barrels per day of high-grade Libyan crude."

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