Brent crude traded near the lowest close in nine months on speculation that U.S. airstrikes against militants in Iraq will protect supplies from OPEC’s second-largest producer. WTI increased for a third day.
Futures were little changed in London after falling 0.4 percent on Aug. 8. U.S. jets and drone aircraft hit Islamic State fighters in multiple attacks intended to prevent a massacre of ethnic and religious minorities in northern Iraq and protect American personnel. President Barack Obama called on Iraqi leaders to form a more-inclusive government to pursue a long-term fight against the militant group, which has seized oil fields near the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
“There’s speculation that U.S. airstrikes can keep the Islamic militants under control,” Hong Sung Ki, an analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. in Seoul, said by phone today. “Looking at past conflicts in Iraq, these geopolitical tensions tend to give temporary support to oil, but after about a month, prices stabilized.”