“West Texas Intermediate crude traded at the highest price in more than nine months because of renewed speculation that unrest in Syria will spread to other parts of the Middle East and disrupt supplies.
Futures gained as much as 0.8 percent after rising the most in five days on June 14, capping a second weekly gain. U.S. President Barack Obama was said to authorize arming Syrian rebel groups. Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani’s vow to improve ties with the world carried him to a surprise first-round election win. Stronger summer demand and supply risks continue to support the market, Morgan Stanley said in a research note.
“We’ve seen prices rising over the past week primarily over geopolitical worries,” Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said by phone. “We are settling in for a range-bound day of trading and any major moves will have to be geopolitical related.”
WTI for July delivery was at $98.52 a barrel, up 67 cents in electronic trading on the New YorkMercantile Exchange as of 11:31 a.m. London time. It had climbed as high as $98.67, the most since Sept. 14. The volume of all futures traded was 30 percent above the 100-day average. The contract rose 1.2 percent to $97.85 on June 14, advancing the most since June 7 to the highest settlement since Jan. 30.