Oil prices flat in Asia, eyes on Syria crisis
Oil prices were flat in Asian trade Friday as investors tracked developments surrounding a looming military strike against Syria and awaited the release of US jobs data, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October, was up two cents to $108.39 in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for October added one cent to $115.27.
"Crude seems somewhat subdued at the moment as we haven't see any radical action taken with regards to Syria," Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP.
"We might see some build-up in the market when the US Congress returns to debate a possible military strike next week," he said.
Dealers fear a military strike on Syria -- which is accused of using chemical weapons on its own civilians -- could lead to a wider conflict in the oil-rich Middle East that would put a strain on supplies.
Tensions increased on Thursday after the US envoy to the United Nations accused Russia of holding the UN Security Council hostage over the crisis.
World leaders gathered at the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg discussed the crisis Thursday at a working dinner, but failed to bridge deeply entrenched divisions over the need for military action.
The Obama administration is seeking approval from lawmakers for military strikes, which France could join.
Eyes are also on the release of US non-farm payrolls data to be released later Friday, analysts said.
While a strong figure would provide more evidence the world's top oil consumer is on the road to recovery, it would also signal the beginning of the end of the US Federal Reserve's stimulus programme, which has fuelled an investment drive in emerging economies.
"We are coming to the end of a chapter that needs to be closed," said Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.