Oil prices rise on geopolitical concerns

SINGAPORE: Oil prices were mixed in Asia Friday as dealers focused on conflict-wracked Ukraine and US-led airstrikes against militants in the Middle East, analysts said.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for November delivery rose three cents to $92.56 while Brent crude for November eased seven cents to $96.93 in mid-morning trade.

“Oil prices are seeing an uptick mainly as a function of geopolitical risk,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

“Developments in Ukraine and the situation with the US bombings in Syria and Iraq are on investors’ minds,” he added.

The European Union (EU) will hold fresh talks with Russia and Ukraine later Friday in Berlin to settle their ongoing dispute over gas deliveries.

Europe gets more than 30 percent of its gas from Russia, with half of that transiting through Ukraine.

In June, Moscow cut off supplies for Kiev owing to a bitter price dispute that took place against the backdrop of an armed insurgency by pro-Kremlin rebels in east Ukraine.

Gas is flowing as normal through Ukraine into the EU, but Russia has warned there is a high risk of disruption of deliveries to Europe this winter as international tensions remain high over the Ukraine crisis.

Crude investors are also keeping watch as the US and its Arab allies turn up the heat on the Islamic State (IS) group, striking oil facilities funding their uprising.

Source: APP