Tepid global economic growth and growing stockpiles have kept Brent crude oil prices low in recent weeks. However, the commodity saw a lift after geopolitical tension in the Middle East escalated and threatened a supply interruption. Brent traded at 103.50 at 9:33 GMT on Tuesday morning as supply concerns and waning demand pressured the commodity from both sides.
Tension in the Middle East grew this month as the Syrian civil war threatened to overflow the nation's borders and drag the rest of its oil rich neighbors into the conflict. CNBC reported that the European arms embargo was lifted after talks on Monday were unsuccessful in renewing it.
The decision has added to concern over the region's delicate situation as most are expecting that without the ban on the sale of arms, Britain and France will supply Syrian rebels with weapons later this year.
The sagging global economy kept a lid on Brent prices as investors waited for China's final PMI data, due out later in the week. Initial data has shown that the nation's factory activity is falling fast and new orders were lacking in May.
Rising US stockpiles also weighed on Brent prices as the nation kicked off the peak driving season over the weekend. Growing reserves at a time when demand is supposed to be at its highest has been a red flag for analysts.
This week the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet in Vienna on Friday to discuss production. Although several members threatened to call an emergency meeting in April to tighten up supply when prices fell below $100, most aren't expecting OPEC to change any of its output targets.
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