The price of oil fell below $107 a barrel today as the likelihood of an imminent US attack against Syria diminished.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for October delivery was down 82 cents to $106.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On Friday, the contract fell $1.15 to close at $107.65.
Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes, was down 19 cents to $113.94 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Trading volumes are limited today as floor trading on the Nymex was closed because of Labor Day.
As a result, the benchmark contract was volatile, swinging within a wide range of more than $3, between $104.21 and $107.31.
US President Barack Obama has had difficulty convincing the world about the need to take action against Syria's government in response to an alleged chemical attack last month that the US says killed at least 1,429 civilians. That number is significantly higher than the death toll of 355 provided by the aid group Doctors Without Borders.
Only France is firmly on board among the major military powers, after Britain's Parliament rejected the use of force in a vote last week. Both Russia and China strongly oppose unilateral US military action. While Syria is not a major oil producer, it straddles a region that is.
The possibility of a wider conflict, one that could interrupt production and shipping routes in the region, has pushed oil prices higher in recent days.
Oil prices recovered from daily lows thanks to two surveys showing that China's manufacturing improved in July. The world's second-largest economy is trying to reverse a slowdown that pulled economic growth to a two-decade low of 7.5% in the latest quarter.