Commodities
Oil prices advance on Syria concerns
Last Updated: 2013-09-04 02:57 | Xinhua
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Oil prices rose on Tuesday as U.S. President Barack Obama is lobbying congressional leaders for authorization before striking Syria.

John Boehner, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Tuesday he would support the military attack against Syria after a meeting with Obama at the White House. He also asked Republican lawmakers to follow suit.

Obama announced last week that he would seek authorization from Congress before taking military action against Syria.

The possibility of a military strike against the Syrian government triggered concerns over oil supplies in the Middle East, where one-third of world's crude is pumped, and drove oil prices higher for the whole past week.

On the economic front, U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in August for the third consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) registered 55.7, increasing from July's reading of 55.4.

Moreover, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Tuesday that construction spending in July rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 900.8 billion U.S. dollars, exceeding market consensus.

Positive Chinese PMI data also gave a boost to the oil prices. The final reading for China's manufacturing PMI rose to a four- month high of 50.1 in August, reflecting that manufacturing activities become stabilized, said the HSBC on Monday.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery moved up 0.89 dollar to settle at 108.54 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery gained 1.67 dollars to close at 115.68 dollars a barrel.

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