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Black Gold Hits Nine Month Highs

“West Texas Intermediate crude rose to a nine-month high after an industry report showed U.S. inventories dropped last week.

Futures rose as much as 0.6 percent. Crude stockpiles fell by 4.3 million barrels in the week ended June 14, the American Petroleum Institute said. An Energy Information Administration report today may show supplies shrank by 500,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to sign a statement at the Group of Eight summit calling for a “transitional government” in Syria. The U.S. Federal Reserve will release a statement and economic forecasts when its meeting ends today.

“The API offered a little more support,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in an e-mail today. “Geopolitical concerns are also supportive. The long-running conflict in Syria has little fundamental market impact, but it is fears for a spillover to neighboring oil producers that will see jittery Brent trading this summer.”

WTI for July delivery, which expires tomorrow, rose as much as 57 cents to $99.01 a barrel, the highest intraday price since Sept. 17. Futures were at $98.63 in electronic trading on theNew York Mercantile Exchange as of 12:56 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 40 percent above the 100-day average. Prices climbed 67 cents to $98.44 yesterday. The more-active August contract gained 7 cents to $98.74.

Brent for August settlement increased 36 cents to $106.38 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $7.54 to WTI. It was $7.35 yesterday, the narrowest based on closing prices since January 2011.

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