Oil prices turn higher as diplomats seek to ease Middle East tensions

Prices surged following Turkey shooting down a Russian plane which analysts warn could heighten tensions among key powers

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Oil prices have turned higher in Asia on Wednesday as diplomats tried to ease geopolitical tensions sparked by Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian fighter jet on the Syrian border.

But the global crude supply glut capped gains ahead of a United States Department of Energy report expected to show another build in commercial crude stockpiles, indicating slower demand in the world’s top oil consuming nation.

Prices had surged on Tuesday following the plane shooting which analysts warned could further heighten tensions among key powers involved in the Syrian conflict and affect crude supplies from the oil-producing Middle East.

Oil prices were volatile amid diplomatic efforts to appease a furious Russian President Vladimir Putin who called the shooting a “stab in the back” by “accomplices of terrorists.”

As the NATO security alliance stood by its member Turkey, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for urgent measures to cool down the heat, saying a “credible and thorough review” of the incident would help clarify what happened and prevent a repeat.

At around 0600 GMT, U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in January was up 12 cents to $42.99 and Brent crude for January was trading 23 cents higher at $46.35, reversing morning losses.

Both contracts jumped by more than $1 after the shooting.

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