BANGKOK – The price of oil fell Monday, edging off a two-year high as the likelihood of a U.S. attack against Syria appeared to diminish.
Benchmark oil for October delivery fell 22 cents to US$110.31 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On Friday, the contract rose $2.16 to close at $110.53 on the Nymex, the highest closing price since May 3, 2011. The sharp increase was driven by a disappointing U.S. jobs report and continuing worries about Syria’s civil war.
President Barack Obama has called for military action against the government of President Bashar Assad in retaliation for what the White House says was a chemical weapons attack against civilians in suburban Damascus last month.
But Obama so far has failed to win support for intervention both at home and abroad. The U.S. Congress is set to hold votes on authorizing limited strikes into Syria as soon as Wednesday.
Prices also dipped on the heels of a disappointing jobs report. The U.S. government said Friday that employers added 169,000 jobs in August, below expectations. On top of that, July’s figure was corrected downward from an earlier estimate of 162,000 jobs to 104,000 jobs, the fewest in over a year.
Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, fell 33 cents to $115.79 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 1.3 cents to $2.8441 per gallon.
— Natural gas rose 2.4 cents to $3.554 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil fell 1 cent to $3.1542 per gallon.