Oil prices rose for a second consecutive session on Monday, closing at the highest level in 11 weeks, as U.S. stock markets rallied to a three-month high and as traders eyed ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, as per Reuters. The gains extended Friday's strong rally after supportive U.S. jobs data calmed concerns about a slowing economy and on hopes that Europe can address its debt crisis. In London, Brent September crude rose to US$109.55, the highest close for front-month Brent since May 16. U.S. September crude also closed higher for a second straight session, rising to US $92.20, highest for front-month U.S. crude since July 19.
Violence in Syria and Iran's dispute with the West over Tehran's nuclear program continues to keep oil investors worried about the potential threat to oil supply in the region.
Tropical Storm Ernesto strengthened in the western Caribbean Sea on Monday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center's five-day forecast cone projects Ernesto to push back into Mexico after it crosses the Yucatan and enters the Gulf of Mexico, avoiding the oil and gas producing areas off the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast.