BANGKOK (AP) — Progress in reaching a deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons helped put downward pressure on oil prices Friday.
Benchmark oil for October delivery was down 31 cents to $106.09 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.68 to close at $106.39 on Thursday.
President Barack Obama has threatened to launch military action against Syria for an alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians in suburban Damascus last month. But diplomats from Russia and the U.S. came up with a plan to induce Syria to give up its chemical weapons stockpile.
On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on the U.N. Security Council to back the U.S-Russia deal, which has reduced the threat of a U.S. military strike.
Fears of instability in the oil-rich Middle East were further allayed after reports signaled a return of more Libyan crude oil to the market. Production and exports have been sharply interrupted in the chaos following the overthrow of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.
"There's been a bit of a step back in tensions in the Middle East," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia.
Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, fell 9 cents to $108.67 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was almost unchanged at $2.68 per gallon.
— Natural gas fell 0.8 cent to $3.712 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil was steady at $3.005 per gallon.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dayton-based PSA Airlines announced it is hiring 1,000 more employees as part an American Airlines announcement that it will be purchasing new regional jets.
A Darke County drug task force arrested two Dayton men Wednesday they said were selling heroin in Greenville.
A bill approved by Ohio lawmakers will make it easier for many adopted Ohioans to get their original birth certificates.
Four members of a Kettering family were killed after fire broke out inside their Craig Drive home early Thursday morning.
The Tri-State's newest gambling establishment will throw open it's doors Dec. 12 at noon so you can throw down your money.