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WTI Crude Climbs a Fifth Day on U.S. Jobs Gain, Egyptian Unrest

West Texas Intermediate rose for a fifth day, the longest run of gains since April, as the U.S. added more jobs than forecast in June and protests in Egypt fanned concern about disruptions in Middle East oil supply.

Futures advanced as much as 0.9 percent in New York after capping the biggest weekly advance in more than two years on July 5. Payrolls rose by 195,000 workers for a second month, the Labor Department said, exceeding the 165,000 gain projected by economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Supporters and opponents of deposed Egyptian leader Mohamed Mursi rallied yesterday in rival demonstrations, boosting speculation that the turmoil may interrupt flows along the Suez Canal or Suez-Med pipeline.

“The situation in Egypt is very serious,” said Robin Mills, head of consulting at Dubai-based Manaar Energy Consulting and Project Management. While the protests aren’t likely to affect the flow or supply of oil, investors are reacting to what’s going on there, he said.

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WTI for August delivery climbed as much as 90 cents to $104.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $103.79 at 9:39 a.m. Sydney time. The contract increased $1.98, or 2 percent, to $103.22 on July 5, the highest settlement since May 2012. Prices rose 6.9 percent last week, the most since February 2011.

Brent for August settlement gained as much as 32 cents to $108.04 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $4.18 to WTI futures, down from $4.50 on July 5.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at [email protected]; Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at [email protected]