By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - Oil rose above $108 a barrel Tuesday as President Barack Obama won the support of the top Republican in Congress for U.S. military intervention in Syria.
House Speaker John Boehner said acting against Syria was something "the United States as a country needs to do."
Obama said Tuesday that he's confident Congress will authorize a military strike in Syria.
By midday, benchmark crude for October delivery was up 54 cents to $108.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Nymex floor trading was closed Monday because of Labor Day.
Obama is trying to drum up support for military strikes against the regime of President Bashar Assad to respond to an attack in the Damascus suburbs last month that the U.S. says killed at least 1,429 civilians. A vote could come once Congress returns from its summer break, which is scheduled to end Sept. 9.
While Syria is not a major oil producer, it straddles a region that is. The possibility of a wider conflict, one that could interrupt production and shipping routes in the region, has pushed oil prices higher in the past week.
Besides the uncertainty over developments in the Middle East, oil prices have been supported as well in recent days by stronger-than-expected manufacturing data from China and the European Union.
Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, was up 81 cents to $115.14 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
- Wholesale gasoline was down 2 cents to $2.87 per gallon.
- Heating oil rose 1 cents to $3.15 per gallon.
- Natural gas climbed 8 cents to $3.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.
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