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Brent crude held its gain after OPEC kept its production target unchanged and West Texas Intermediate was little changed in New York amid speculation that U.S. inventories dropped last week.
Futures rose 0.3 percent in London as OPEC ministers in Vienna left the group’s output ceiling unchanged at 30 million barrels a day. Crude stockpiles probably dropped by 2 million barrels last week to 387.5 million, a Bloomberg News survey shows before Energy Information Administration data today. In Iraq, a breakaway al-Qaeda group took control of the city of Mosul and there were conflicting reports about the situation in Baiji, home to the nation’s biggest refinery.
“There were no surprises with OPEC but the deteriorating situation in Iraq could start to have an effect at the margins,” Michael Hewson, a London-based market analyst at CMC Markets, said by e-mail.
Brent for July settlement gained 37 cents to $109.89 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 1:15 p.m. London time. Prices have decreased 0.8 percent this year.
WTI for July delivery was at $104.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 11 cents. The volume of all futures traded was about 19 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.50 to WTI. The spread narrowed for a third day yesterday to close at $5.17.
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