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Oil prices near 2014 highs over warnings of western air strikes against Syria

Reuters  |  SINGAPORE 

By Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, adding to steep gains in the previous session, as markets eyed an escalation of tensions after Europe's air traffic control agency warned of possible air strikes on in the next 72 hours.

Brent crude futures rose to $71.09 per barrel at 0104 GMT, up 7 cents from their last close. Brent surged more than 3 percent on Tuesday to hit its highest level since late 2014, at $71.34 a barrel.

U.S. WTI crude futures were at $65.63 a barrel, up 12 from their last settlement.

The and its allies are considering a strike against Syrian Bashar al-Assad's forces following a

Pan-European air traffic control agency said air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles could be used within the next 72 hours, warning that there was a possibility of intermittent disruption of

Although itself is not a significant itself, the wider is the world's most important crude exporter and tension in the region tends to put on edge.

were also supported by easing concerns over a prolonged trade spat between the and after China's on Tuesday gave a speech with a conciliatory tone.

"The relaxation of tensions between the U.S. and (is) allowing to exercise their worries over geopolitics," said Greg McKenna, at

Not all pointed to ongoing price rises, however.

U.S. crude inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels in the week to April 6 to 429.1 million, according to a report by the (API) on Tuesday, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 189,000 barrels.

And the (EIA) said on Tuesday that it expects domestic in 2019 to rise by more than previously expected, driven largely by growing U.S. shale output.

In its monthly short-term energy outlook, the agency forecast that U.S. will rise by 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.44 million bpd next year. Last month, it expected a 570,000 bpd year-over-year increase to 11.27 million bpd.

That will likely make the the world's biggest by 2019, surpassing which currently pumps out almost 11 million bpd.

(Reporting by Gloystein; editing by Richard Pullin)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 11 2018. 06:45 IST
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