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US oil closes down near $109; Syria fears reined in

Reuters with
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Crude oil sank on Monday, with U.S. oil ending below last week's 2 year high, as concerns of an imminent strike on Syria eased, and traders reduced positions that had reflected fears of oil supply disruption in the Middle East.

Brent crude oil sank to its lowest mark in one week, narrowing its premium over the U.S. crude oil contract which did not fall by as much.

Syria welcomed a Russian proposal to place the nation's chemical weapons under interim control, praising the Kremlin for seeking to "prevent American aggression.

The global Brent crude benchmark fell by more than $2 to under $114, giving back a chunk of the gains its made since the start of the month. U.S. crude settled down $1.01 at $109.52. On Friday, U.S. oil settled at its highest price in more than two years, as traders bought into a rally on fears that military action against Syria would create civil unrest throughout the Middle East, which pumps a third of the world's oil.

President Barack Obama faces an uphill task to persuade Senate lawmakers to approve on Wednesday military strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Russia and Syria urged Washington against military action on Monday, while China called for U.S. caution and a return to the United Nations to discuss Syria. Meanwhile, Obama will give a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, making the case for intervention.

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