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Oil down on Syrian chemical weapons deal

16 September 2013, 10:58 AFP

Singapore - Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Monday after a US-Russia deal on Syria's chemical weapons averted a potential Western military strike on the Assad regime.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October eased 86 cents to $107.35 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for November declined 95 cents to $110.75.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov reached a breakthrough deal on Saturday following three days of talks in Geneva.

Under the agreement, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has a week to hand over details of the quantity and location of all its toxic arsenal.

The stockpile would then be turned over to international supervision and destroyed by mid-2014.

The deal has won backing from China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Analysts said the accord has averted a possible US-led strike on Syria to punish it for its alleged use of chemical weapons on its own people.

"The risk premium on crude prices over Syria continues to subside after the US-Russia agreement on Saturday," Victor Shum, managing director at IHS Purvin and Gertz in Singapore, told AFP.

Oil prices hit multi-month highs in early September on concerns that the US would press ahead with a punitive military strike on Syria which analysts feared could lead to a wider conflict in the oil-rich Middle East.


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