Oil is now trading at a six-month high, as the possibility of western intervention in Syria grows. The Middle East is a large oil-producing region, and any political tension in the region tends to cause a rise in the price of the commodity, as dealers fear production levels and supply lines could be impacted. The allegation that the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own citizens has sparked international condemnation, and could lead to a military invasion. Syria isn’t a major oil-producing nation, but if war breaks out there it could reduce production in neighbouring countries and curtail supply to the west. While tensions remain high, it is likely the price of oil will follow suit.
The price of oil has been pushed higher over the past few months, after the Egyptian government was toppled. The conflict in Egypt played a crucial role in oil’s upward movement, as the Suez Canal provides essential access to the Middle East from the Mediterranean.