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West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the highest intraday price in three days amid signs that economic growth is being sustained in the U.S. and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers. Brent also rose in London.
Futures climbed as much as 0.9 percent in New York. A Labor Department report showed U.S. employment exceeded the pre-recession peak for the first time, while China’s exports climbed in May. Russia and Ukraine plan another round of natural gas talks today, while OPEC ministers say they will probably leave their oil-production target unchanged this week.
“The good jobs data from the U.S. at the end of last week are supporting prices,” Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, said by e-mail. “The key words this week will be Libya, Ukraine and OPEC.”
WTI for July delivery was at $103.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 86 cents, at 1:51 p.m. London time. The contract gained 18 cents to $102.66 on June 6. The volume of all futures traded was 7 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. Prices have advanced 5.1 percent this year.
Brent for July settlement was 88 cents higher at $109.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.98 to WTI on ICE. The spread closed at $5.95 last week.
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