By Ben Sharples
West Texas Intermediate rose for a fourth day and Brent crude gained on concern that escalating violence in Iraq threatens to disrupt supplies from OPEC’s second-largest producer.
WTI futures rose as much as 0.6 percent in New York after capping a 4.1 percent weekly gain on June 13. Iraq’s military struck the positions of Sunni Muslim insurgents who have captured territory north of Baghdad, trying to turn back battlefield advances that threaten to split the country. The member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries produced 3.3 million barrels a day last month, data from Bloomberg show.
“The thing that everbody’s going to be watching is the situation in Iraq,” said Robin Mills, the head of consulting at Dubai-based Manaar Energy Consulting and Project Management. “That’s what’s getting the headlines.”
WTI for July delivery climbed as much as 61 cents to $107.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $107.35 at 8:30 a.m. Sydney time. The contract rose 0.4 percent to $106.91 on June 13, the highest close since Sept. 18. Prices are up 9 percent this year.
Brent for August settlement rose as much as 81 cents to $113.27 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The July contract expired June 13 after climbing 0.4 percent to $113.41. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $6.51 to WTI.