NEW YORK, \ (Xinhua) — Oil prices rose on Friday amid escalating concerns that the possible Western military strike on Syria will disrupt Middle East oil exports.
The possibility of a military strike against the Syrian government triggered market concerns over oil supplies in the Middle East, where one third of the world’s crude is pumped, driving the oil prices higher.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that nations must find a solution for Syria, and that he is “not itching for military action.” Obama also said that he would address the American people on Tuesday about Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia would help Syria in case of an external military attack. He made the remarks at a press conference during the G20 summit in St. Petersburg.
On the economic front, U.S. employers added 169,000 jobs in August, less than the market expectation of 180,000, according to a closely-watched non-farm payrolls report released by the Labor Department.
Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in August, the lowest level since December 2008, as more potential workers left the labor force, the department reported. The country ‘s labor force participation rate fell to 63.2 percent, the lowest since August 1978.
Light, sweet crude for October delivery went up 2.16 dollars to settle at 110.53 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude for October delivery also climbed 0.86 dollars to close at 116.12 dollars a barrel.