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West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes rose, approaching nine-month highs, as an al-Qaeda offshoot consolidates its control over areas of Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer.
Iraqi forces have been battling the Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant for control of the Baiji refinery north of Baghdad for almost two weeks. Russian President Vladimir Putin asked lawmakers in the upper house of parliament to rescind approval they granted to use force in Ukraine. A government report tomorrow is projected to show that U.S. crude supplies fell a fourth week.
"The situations in Iraq and Ukraine continue to support the market," said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. "Things were a little overdone so prices retreated yesterday, but that move's run its course. We are going to continue to trade near nine-month highs as long as fears about Iraqi supply remain."
WTI for August delivery rose 23 cents to $106.40 a barrel at 10:37 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $107.73 on June 20, the highest intraday price since Sept. 19. The volume of all futures traded was 25 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.
Brent for August settlement increased 31 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $114.43 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Futures touched $115.71 on June 19, the highest since Sept. 9. The contract slid 0.6 percent yesterday, the biggest loss since May 16. The volume of all futures traded was 69 percent higher than the 100-day average.
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