Oil prices rose as much as $2 on Thursday as new reports over Syria’s possible use of chemical weapons stirred concerns over stability in the Gulf region, while a wider rally in commodity and equity markets fuelled buying.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s midmorning comments on Syria’s possible use of chemical weapons sent jitters through the market, traders noted.US crude rose more than 2 percent to close up $2.21 at $93.64 a barrel. Brent crude settled up $1.68 at $103.41 a barrel, narrowing the spread by more than 50 cents to $9.77 a barrel.

Technically-driven trading helped propel gains, with little to stop the upward move after US prices broke above the 50-, 100- and 200-day moving averages, said Bill Baruch, senior market strategist at iitrader.com in Chicago, Illinois.”The rally here is because the longs had reached the saturation point when US crude got to about $95. They sold…

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Oil gains on Syria, commods rally; Brent premium under $10

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