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US light crude oil futures climbed 1.6% to $108.50 a barrel after John Boehner, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said to reporters that he will support President Obama’s request for authorisation to launch a military attack on Syria.
Oil prices had already risen earlier in the day after Israel announced that it had conducted a missile test in the Mediterranean jointly with the US. The prospect of further conflict in the Middle East is ratcheting up already heightened tensions, and this is fuelling concerns that oil supplies from the region may be disrupted.
President Obama is seeking congressional approval before launching an attack on Syria, and a vote on the matter is expected to be undertaken next week. President Obama’s request for military action has been backed today by House Majority leader Eric Cantor as well as John Boehner, making the challenge of winning over the Republican-led house now looking easier. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined them in voicing support for military action. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denies using chemical weapons on civilians.
Syria is not a significant producer of crude oil, but borders Irag, the second largest producer of oil in OPEC.