Oil prices settled at more than $110 a barrel on Monday, amid fears over supply disruptions due to civil unrests in both Egypt and Libya; however, investors remained cautious over concerns the US Federal Reserve could scale back its economic stimulus measures soon.
Brent crude was unchanged at $110.40 a barrel, while US oil dipped by 20 cents to settle at $107.30, reported Reuters.
Investors are cautious ahead of the Fed’s last policy meeting scheduled on 21 August 2013, which is expected to provide an indication on when it could start scaling back its stimulus.
Data on the US crude inventory and economy is due this week, which is expected to direct oil prices.
In August 2013, consumer confidence was dented and residential construction increased by less than expected, potentially dimming chances of acceleration in economic activity in the third quarter.
Some supply disruption fears eased in the US when BP said it could resume work in deepwater Gulf of Mexico on 18 August 2013 after a tropical storm had dissipated.
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Prices, however, were underpinned by civil unrests in both Egypt and Libya.
Egypt is not a major oil producer; however, traders are cautious about the unrest as it could spread across the Middle East, which produces the majority of the world’s oil.
Unrest in Libya crippled the country’s oil production and brought exports to their lowest levels since the 2011 civil war, while Ras Lanuf refinery, the country’s largest, recently resumed some oil shipments.
Iraqi officials said crude flows resumed through a pipeline from the country’s Kirkuk oil fields to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, after a bomb attack halted exports on 16 August 2013.
Image: Oil prices dip on stimulus concerns amid easing US supply fears. Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.