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Crude futures move lower after US-led attack on Syria proves limited

Crude futures moved lower Sunday evening, giving back some of the priorweek's gains after a joint attack by the US, UK and France on suspectedSyrian chemical weapons facilities proved to be limited in scope.

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ICE June Brent crude futures fell 47 cents to $72.11/b, while NYMEX Maycrude fell 37 cents to $67.02.

Crude futures had rallied over $5/b last week after US President DonaldTrump threatened to bomb Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime in retaliationagainst suspected chemical weapons attacks.

Syria produces very little oil, but traders were concerned that abroadening conflict with Assad's supporters -- Russia and Iran -- coulddisrupt oil flows out of the Middle East.

COMEX gold futures also fell in Sunday evening trade. Gold for Junedelivery, the active contract, slipped $5.10 to $1,342.80/oz.

Gold futures were supported last week in part by the prospect of amilitary strike on Syria. Tenuous trade relations with China were alsosupportive.

The US and its allies launched attacks late Friday. US Defense SecretaryJim Mattis said in a news briefing Friday that "right now we have noadditional attacks planned," although the Trump administration did notrule out additional attacks if Assad continues to use chemical weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the airstrike, but so farthere has been no escalation of the conflict with Russian and Iranianforces.

News that Yemeni Houthi militants fired missiles toward Saudi Arabia wasalso bullish last week.

Global inventories have tightened, so any supply disruptions will likelyhave a more bullish impact on crude prices.

The International Energy Agency said Friday OECD oil stocks fell by 25.6million barrels to 2.84 billion barrels in February, the lowest sinceApril 2015.

(Updates with COMEX gold futures) --Jeff Mower, jeff.mower@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jason Lindquist, newsdesk@spglobal.com