Commodities
Oil prices surge on Syria concerns
Last Updated: 2013-08-28 09:52 | Xinhua
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Oil prices rose Tuesday over fears that the tension in Syria will diminish crude supplies.

Rising fears that U.S. and other western countries may take military action against the Syrian government after accusing it of using chemical weapons pushed up U.S. oil prices to an 18-month high.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the BBC Tuesday that American forces were "ready" to act if President Barack Obama ordered an attack, toughening the Obama administration's stance against Syria. Also, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that Obama "believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people."

Positive economic data came from U.S. and the euro zone also supported oil prices. The Ifo German confidence survey showed business sentiment in the country reached the highest level in 16 months.

U.S. home prices continued to increase in June but at a slower pace, according to a report released Tuesday by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measures of U.S. home prices, posted monthly returns of 2.2 percent in June both for the 10- and 20-City Composites, the report said, adding that all 20 cities posted gains on a monthly and an annual basis.

U.S. consumer confidence index increased slightly in August, according to the Conference Board, a global, independent business membership and research association. The Index stood at 81.5, up from 81.0 in July.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery rose 3.09 dollars to settle at 109.01 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude for October delivery soared 3.63 dollars, or 3.28 percent, to close at 114.36 dollars a barrel.

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