MARKET WATCH: Oil futures rise Aug. 23 on Lebanon violence

Oil futures prices rose on the New York market Aug. 23, and traders attributed the increase to escalating violence in the Middle East that added to already mounting concerns about the security of global oil supplies.

The market reacted to reports of explosions in Lebanon’s port city of Tripoli that killed at least 29 people. Lebanon is a minor player in the oil market, but recent events in the Middle East have traders worried about possible supply disruptions given conflicts and Egypt and civil war in Syria.

The October contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed $1.39 to settle at $106.42/bbl on Aug. 23. The November contract also increased, rising $1.39 to $105.72/bbl.

Heating oil for September delivery rose 2.5¢ to settle at $3.095/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for the same month rose 4.24¢ to a rounded $3.01/gal.

The September natural gas contract was down by 6¢ to close at $3.485/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., declined by less than a penny to close at $3.51/MMbtu.

In London, the October IPE contract for North Sea Brent crude rose $1.14 to $111.04/bbl. The September contract for gas oil settled at $941.75/tonne, up $5.50 from the previous session.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its basket of 12 benchmark crudes closed at $108.25/bbl on Aug. 23, up 67¢.

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