Brent crude oil rose above US$110 per barrel on Tuesday, pulling its premium above U.S. light crude to the widest in six months, after news of a deterioration in relations between the United States and key OPEC oil producer Saudi Arabia.
A source close to Saudi policy said Riyadh would make a “major shift” in dealings with the United States in protest at Washington’s perceived inaction over the Syria war and its overtures to Iran.
Oil prices edged higher on Monday in light trading volumes, with gains capped by China's latest bid to cool down its booming economy, traders said.New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, added 14 cents to 74.27 dollars a barrel.Brent North Sea crude for March delivery rose by just five cents to 72.95 dollars a barrel at 1245 GMT.Trading activity was subdued amid holidays across much of Asia, including China, and in the United States.
Gold prices finished the week in the green for the first time in the past four weeks. Crude oil prices, on the other hand, recorded weekly losses following US airstrikes on Iraq. Once the situation in Iraq normalizes, crude supply is expected to increase and oil prices are tapering off.
The price of oil rose slightly Monday amid alternating hope and uncertainty about the looming deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach an agreement over the government’s borrowing limit and shutdown. Benchmark crude for November delivery rose 39 cents to close at $102.41 a barrel in in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, was down 24 cents to $111.04 per barrel. The price of oil “continues to gyrate around speculation and rumor regarding the shutdown of the U.S.