Crude zooms, US oil ends higher as Syria sparks new fears

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Crude oil rose more than $1 per barrel on Tuesday, with U.S. oil settling higher as U.S. lawmakers voiced support for military action against Syria, raising new fears about an armed conflict that could crimp supply.

While improving economic data in the United States and China also helped spur oil's gains, Syria stole the market spotlight. President Barack Obama urged quick congressional action authorizing the use of military force against Syria and won support of leaders from both parties in the House of Representatives for limited strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

After key Republicans backed President Barack Obama's call for a strike on Damascus, oil hit the upper end of the session's ranges. Brent hit session highs, trading just shy of $116 and up more than $1 on the day. West Texas Intermediate rose by 89 cents to settle at $108.54

A possible missile strike on Syria returned investor focus to a potential supply disruption in the region, but traders noted existing supply concerns already supported prices. Libyan exports were running at below 10 percent of export capacity at below 100,000 barrels per day, according to a Reuters estimate, as armed groups tighten their grip on the sector.

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