West Texas Intermediate rose for a fourth day after hedge funds increased bullish bets on the U.S. benchmark crude amid declining stockpiles.
Futures climbed as much as 0.6 percent in New York after capping a fourth weekly advance. WTI surpassed Brent by as much as 3 cents in intraday trading on July 19 as pipeline and rail shipments helped clear a U.S. supply bottleneck. Crude supplies have dropped by 27.1 million barrels in the three weeks ended July 12, according to the Energy Information Administration.
“Over the long term WTI will trade at prices similar to or above Brent,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London. “Finally, infrastructure investment in the U.S. pipeline system is paying dividends and the distortion of prices in the Midwest is correcting itself.”