PAMELA SAMPSON, AP Business Writer
BANGKOK (AP) — The price of oil rose Wednesday, bouncing back slightly after a string of losses.
Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 24 cents to $103.37 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 46 cents to finish at $103.13 a barrel on Tuesday, the lowest close since July 30. Oil has dropped 6.7 percent since closing at a two-year high of $110.53 on Sept. 6.
Just a few weeks ago, President Barack Obama was considering launching a military strike against Syria to retaliate for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 that the U.S. blamed on Bashar Assad’s regime. But a U.S.-Russia deal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control averted military action, at least for now.
Obama has called on the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that would enforce consequences on Syrian President Bashar Assad if he fails to follow the U.S.-Russian deal to turn his chemical weapon stockpiles.
The U.S. Commerce Department is set to release durable goods and new home sales for August later in the day. The most recent data from the world’s largest economy gave a mixed picture. One report Tuesday showed that home prices rose the most in more than seven years in July. Another showed that Americans’ confidence in the economy slipped in September.
Investors are also remaining cautious as Congress in Washington gears up for a budget fight. Failure to reach an agreement could make it impossible for the government to pay some of its bills.
Still, Carl Larry of Oil Outlooks and Opinions said that despite some seemingly negative news, including the threat of a government shutdown, now “is a damn good time to buy crude oil on the cheap.”
Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, rose 23 cents to $108.87 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.3 cent to $2.644 per gallon.
— Natural gas rose 2.2 cents to $3.514 per 1,000 cubic feet.
— Heating oil fell 0.3 cent to $2.963 per gallon.