Market Overview

Brent Climbs As Tension In Syria Heightens

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Brent crude oil climbed above $111 for the first time since April 2 on Monday morning as supply concerns overtook investors' focus on the Us Federal Reserve tapering and drove oil prices upward. The commodity traded at 111.03 at 8:12 GMT.

Syria took center stage among the ongoing unrest in the Middle East and Africa as suspicion about the government's use of chemical weapons a gains its own people rose. CNBC reported that on Sunday, Syrian officials agreed to allow a UN inspector to investigate the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack, however US officials claimed that the offer came too long after the fact to be considered credible. Despite this, many see the offer as evidence that the attack was driven by terrorists rather than the Syrian government, making US military intervention less likely.

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Brent prices were already buoyant on conflict elsewhere in the region as labor protests in Libya continued to hinder the nation's oil production. Libya's largest export terminals have been shut down due to strikes, which has caused the nation's oil output to decrease to about half its normal level.

In Egypt, the repercussions of ousting President Mohamed Mursi have left the country divided in its bloodiest civil conflict in 60 years.

Bets that the federal reserve will begin to taper its stimulus plan as early as September kept a lid on gains as investors cautiously awaited the end of easy central bank money. Although the Fed has not set a a timeline for the rollback of its stimulus spending, investors have been keeping a close eye on US economic indicators for clues that the number one oil consumer's economy is ready to stand on its own.

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