West Texas Intermediate rose to a four-day high after U.S. crude stockpiles fell as refiners in the world’s biggest oil consumer boosted processing to the highest level since 2005. Brent advanced in London.
Futures increased as much as 1.5 percent in New York, extending a 1.2 percent gain yesterday. Crude stockpiles shrank by 7.53 million barrels last week, the most since January, while refineries operated at 93.8 percent of capacity, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported yesterday. President Barack Obama’s administration, acting with the European Union, imposed sanctions on Russian banks and energy and defense companies in its latest bid to punish the country over Ukraine.
“The crude stockpile draw explains why WTI is up a bit,” Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, said by e-mail. “Russian sanctions do not seem to be worrying the market for now. The bigger picture is the weak crude oil market in Europe.”
WTI for August delivery rose as much as $1.55 to $102.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since July 11, and was at $102.59 at 1:28 p.m. London time. The contract increased $1.24 to $101.20 a barrel yesterday, the biggest gain since June 12. Prices have advanced 4.2 percent this year.
Brent for September settlement rose 80 cents higher to $107.97 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.03 to WTI for the same month on ICE. The August contract decreased 17 cents to $105.85 when it expired yesterday.