06 May 2013 06:23 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude prices strengthened on Monday, rising by more than $1/bbl at one stage, buoyed by heightened Middle East tensions following Israeli air strikes on targets in Syria and upbeat US employment data released late last week.
At 05:06 GMT, June Brent crude on London’s ICE futures exchange was trading at $104.67/bbl, up by 48 cents/bbl from the previous close.
Earlier, the North Sea benchmark rose to a session high of $105.49/bbl, up by $1.30/bbl – its highest level since mid-April.
June NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $96.37/bbl, up by 76 cents/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US benchmark hit a high of $97.17/bbl, up $1.56/bbl.
Israeli warplanes attacked Syrian army targets over the weekend. The attacks, which resulted in casualties and significant damage were condemned by the Syrian government and the Arab League and have raised tensions in the region. Israel claimed the attacks were on weapons destined for Hezbollah forces.
The market also continued to be buoyed by positive April US employment data, which showed a larger-than-expected rise in new jobs. Data revealed that the US unemployment rate of 7.5% is at its lowest level in four years. The news raised hopes of stronger oil demand from the world’s leading oil consumer.
($1 = €0.76)
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