Brent crude traded near its highest closing level in almost two weeks as heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia fanned concern that energy supplies are at risk. West Texas Intermediate rose in New York.
Brent advanced 0.3 percent in London. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency security meeting to defend against what he called a Russian “invasion” after separatists gained ground in intensified fighting in eastern regions. In Iraq, Kurdish forces regained control of the Ain Zala and Batma oilfields during an offensive against Islamic militants.
“Geopolitical tensions are having an impact,” Hans van Cleef, energy economist at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam, said in a report. “Prices may not be increasing, but nor are they declining.”
Brent for October settlement gained 35 cents to $103.07 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 1:09 p.m. local time. It closed at $102.72 yesterday, the highest since Aug. 15. The volume of all futures traded was about 27 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $8.97 to WTI on ICE, compared with $8.84 yesterday.
WTI for October delivery rose 18 cents to $94.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 2 cents to $93.88 yesterday, the highest close since Aug. 21. Prices have slid 4.4 percent this year.