WTI Oil Fluctuates as U.S., Russia Begin Talks on Syrian Weapons
West Texas Intermediate oil swung between gains and losses as the U.S. and Russia began talks on a plan for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons to avert a strike that has fanned concern of exports being disrupted.
Futures fluctuated in New York after rising a second day yesterday. Russia is seeking a deal that would make a strike on Syria unnecessary, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said before a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the U.S. must drop its military threats and stop arming rebels. Libya declared force majeure on three more oil-export terminals, according to a statement from state-owned National Oil Corp.
WTI for October delivery was at $108.60 a barrel, unchanged in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 9:46 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 1 percent yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was about 74 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are down 1.7 percent this week.
Brent for October settlement, which expires today, gained $1.13, or 1 percent, to $112.63 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange yesterday. The more active November future increased $1.34 to $111.53. The front-month European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $4.03 to WTI.
Kerry and Lavrov’s talks are slated to run through today. They will focus on the practicalities of securing, transporting, destroying and monitoring Syria’s chemicals arsenal, a U.S. official said. Negotiations won’t be about the text of a United Nations resolution that could govern the enforcement of a plan, the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at email@example.com