Investing.com - Oil prices rose on Tuesday morning in Asia amid concerns that there could be a high risk of supply disruptions, especially in the Middle East.
Crude Oil WTI Futures for May delivery were trading at $66.55 a barrel in Asia at 11:15PM ET (03:15 GMT), up 0.50%. Brent Oil Futures for June delivery, traded in London, were up 0.38% at $71.69 per barrel.
Oil markets were supported by a sense of high risk of disruptions to oil supplies, triggered by a potentially spreading conflict in the Middle East, renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and falling output caused by the political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
On Saturday, the U.S., France and Britain launched 105 missiles targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria. The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western countries against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose ally Russia is facing further U.S. economic sanctions over its role in the conflict.
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.
However, investor concern about Syria is waning. Hopes that the conflict would not escalate have spurred investors to drop the U.S. dollar, causing the currency to weaken. A weaker greenback means cheaper oil for importing countries, which in turn boosts demand.
Oil markets are further supported by the supply restraint led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia. The pact runs until the end of 2018 but there is growing confidence that the cooperation will be extended.
Meanwhile, Shanghai Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery were down 0.58% at 425.40 yuan ($67.72) per barrel.
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