By Karolin Schaps 44 minutes ago
By Karolin Schaps
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday on concerns of an escalation in the Syrian war after Russia started air strikes against Islamic State and the approach of a hurricane on the U.S. East Coast kept investors wary.
Russian warplanes carried out several air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on Wednesday, shortly after the Russian parliament approved military action.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the 2015 Atlantic season's third hurricane, Joaquin, was expected to reach the Bahamas on Wednesday night.
"Hurricane Joaquin may be having an effect on the market. High seas along the East Coast have been forecast and that could affect barges carrying refined products," said David Thompson, executive vice-president at Washington-based commodities broker Powerhouse.
U.S. crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, was 21 cents higher at $45.44 a barrel by 1458 GMT, on course to end September down 7 percent.
Brent crude oil was up 32 cents at $48.55 a barrel, heading for a 9 percent fall this month.
The market defied bearish news of a larger-than-expected build in U.S. crude oil stockpiles. Inventories rose by 4 million barrels to 457.92 million barrels last week, U.S. government data showed, much less than a forecast of a 1 million barrel rise.
(Additional reporting by Barani Krishnan in New York, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson and William Hardy)