Oil mixed on U.S. crude build, Syria; down 24 percent on quarter
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices ended mixed in volatile trade on Wednesday, with global benchmark Brent up on worries about Russian airstrikes in Syria and U.S. crude down after data showing a surge in domestic inventories.
For the quarter, both Brent and U.S. crude were down 24 percent for their sharpest decline since the end of 2014.
Oil prices were broadly boosted in early trade by concern about a hurricane threatening energy infrastructure on the U.S. East Coast. Book balancing by traders at the end of the month and the third quarter also made for choppy trade.
"It's the typical month-end, quarter-end 'window dressing' phenomenon," said Tariq Zahir, fund manager and crude oil spreads trader at Tyche Capital Advisors in Laurel Hollow, New York.
Warplanes from Russia carried out air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, feeding worries about growing war in the Middle East.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it expected Hurricane Joaquin to reach the Bahamas on Wednesday night. The storm might move north to threaten the New York Harbor, delivery point for the U.S. gasoline and ultra low sulfur diesel futures contracts.
"High seas along the East Coast have been forecast and that could affect barges carrying refined products," said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Washington-based commodities broker Powerhouse.
Brent LCOc1 settled up 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $48.37 a barrel. It fell 10 percent for September . Continued...