U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 35 mins

Oil prices fall below $108 as Syria fears ease

Pamela Sampson, AP Business Writer

File-In this March 19, 2012, file photo, a motorist pumps gas at a Mount Lebanon, Pa., mini-mart. Gas is getting a bit pricier ahead of Labor Day weekend. The average U.S. price for a gallon of gasoline rose by 1.8 cents to $3.56 a gallon Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, its biggest overnight jump in six weeks, according to auto club AAA. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

BANGKOK (AP) -- The price of oil fell below $108 a barrel Friday after British lawmakers refused to approve military action against Syria, easing concerns about international intervention in the country's civil war.

Benchmark oil for October delivery was down $1.20 to $107.60 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.30 to close at $108.80 a barrel on Thursday.

Britain's parliament on Thursday refused to go along with Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to intervene in Syria, whose government is suspected of a chemical weapons attack earlier this month that killed more than 300 civilians.

Another hurdle in forming an international coalition to undertake a military strike against Syria took place at the U.N., when Russia blocked British efforts to force a resolution approving action.

Dropping oil prices reflected the relief traders felt.

"We might see oil come off a little bit," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia. "But if the situation escalates over the weekend, that might be a different story."

Syria is not a major oil producer but a widening conflict there could affect major producers in the region or disrupt supply routes.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes, fell 26 cents $114.90 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Heating oil lost 1.3 cents to $3.175 per gallon.

— Natural gas rose 1.2 cents to $3.63 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Wholesale gasoline was down 2.2 cents at $2.909 per gallon.