Oil Prices Steady On Syria Tensions And Tighter Supply

Oil prices remained steady on Thursday morning

Investing.com – Oil prices remained steady on Thursday morning in Asia amid ongoing tensions over Syria and shrinking global oil supplies.

 for May delivery were trading at $66.86 a barrel in Asia at 11:10PM ET (03:10 GMT), down 0.31%. for June delivery, traded in London, were down 0.29% at $71.81 per barrel.

Oil prices soared the day before on the threat of imminent U.S. military action in Syria, reaching their highest levels since late 2014. The gains from Wednesday were held stead on Thursday, hovering near three-year highs.

Tensions escalated earlier this week after Saudi Arabia said its air defense forces intercepted three ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh and other cities, and after U.S. President Donald Trump declared military action against Syria, taunting Russia for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a suspected chemical attack on rebels. The concerns of direct conflict over Syria has also escalated a rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This has raised concerns about possible oil supply disruptions. Although Syria is not a key oil producer, the wider Middle East is the world’s most important crude exporter and tension in the region tends to put oil markets on edge.

Healthy demand and the supply restraint led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia also continue to prop up oil prices. OPEC said the global oil inventory surplus is close to evaporating, having shrunk by nine-tenths since the start of 2017 due to the supply cuts and rising demand.

The pact runs until the end of 2018 but there is growing confidence that the cooperation will be extended. OPEC will meet in June to decide on its next course of action.

Meanwhile, for September delivery were up 0.57% at 426.80 yuan ($67.88) per barrel.

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