Global oil prices headed higher Wednesday, driven by heightened political tensions in the Middle East after bomb attacks against Syria and Israelis.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for August, finished at $89.87 a barrel, a gain of 65 cents from Tuesday’s closing price.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September jumped $1.16 to close at $105.16 a barrel in London trade.
“Tensions continue to escalate in the Middle East,” said John Kilduff, an analyst at Again Capital. “The latest developments in Syria moved up prices.”
Crude futures won support from worsening violence in Syria, stoking concerns over supplies from the oil-rich Middle East.
Rebels claimed a bomb attack in Damascus that killed three of President Bashar al-Assad's security chiefs.
The bombing prompted U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to warn that Syria was “spinning out of control.”
The market also was underpinned by concerns over a deadly bomb blast Wednesday targeting Israeli tourists at an airport in Bulgaria, killing seven people.
Traders shrugged off news of a smaller-than-expected decline in crude oil inventories in the United States, that suggested soft demand in the world’s top oil consumer.
The U.S. Department of Energy reported day that American crude oil inventories sank by 800,000 barrels in the week ending July 13.
Expectations had been for a larger decline of 1.1 million barrels, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.