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Crude oil futures lower as markets digest US-led strike in Syria

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Crude oil futures lower as markets digest US-led strike in Syria

Crude oil futures were declining Monday morning during Asian trade as theoil complex began the week in negative territory after the strike by the US,UK and France on suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities proved limitedin scope.

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At 9:39 am Singapore time (0139 GMT), ICE June Brent futures contract was73 cents/b (1.01%) lower from Friday's settle at $71.85/b. NYMEX May lightsweet crude was 61 cents/b (0.91%) lower at $66.78/b.

Crude futures had rallied over $5/b last week after US President DonaldTrump threatened to bomb Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime in retaliation for asuspected chemical attack April 7 in the town of Douma.

That rally also pushed NYMEX crude above its Bollinger Band upper limit,suggesting the contract had veered into overbought territory.

Without signs of the Syrian conflict escalating over the weekend, sometraders may be taking profits leading to Monday's pullback.

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.

US defense secretary Jim Mattis said in a news briefing Friday that"right now we have no additional attacks planned," although the Trumpadministration did not rule 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 Iranian forces.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the US-ledairstrikes on Syria a "crime."

The UN Security Council rejected an effort by Russia to pass a resolutioncondemning the airstrikes during an emergency session held Saturday.

--Geoffrey Craig,

--Edited by Irene Tang,