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Oil Falls Below $110 After Hitting 2-Year High

By PABLO GORONDI
Associated Press

The price of oil fell below $110 a barrel Monday, slipping from a two-year high as the prospects of a U.S. attack against Syria remained unclear.

By late morning, benchmark oil for October delivery was down 85 cents to $109.68 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, oil gained $2.16 to close at $110.53, the highest closing price since May 3, 2011.

President Barack Obama has called for military action against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad in retaliation for what the White House says was a chemical weapons attack against civilians in suburban Damascus last month.

But Obama has so far failed to win sufficient support for intervention both at home and abroad. The U.S. Congress is set to hold votes on authorizing limited strikes into Syria as soon as Wednesday while international backing for military action is still feeble and Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would continue assisting Assad if the U.S. attacks.

On Monday, Assad warned the U.S. of repercussions if it launches a military attack against him. But in a surprise, Russia said it is pressing Syria to move its chemical weapons to areas under international control to avoid a U.S. military strike.

Obama plans to address the nation from the White House on Tuesday about Syria.

Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, was down $1.66 to $114.46 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

- Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.83 per gallon.

- Natural gas rose 4 cents to $3.58 per 1,000 cubic feet.

- Heating oil retreated 2 cents to $3.14 per gallon.

___

Pamela Sampson in Bangkok contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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