Investing.com - Brent oil futures rallied to a two-week high on Thursday, as concerns over escalating violence in Iraq boosted prices.
On the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery rose to a session high of $110.01 a barrel, the most since May 30, before paring gains to last trade at $109.91 a barrel during European morning hours, up 0.49%, or 54 cents.
Insurgents linked to al-Qaeda seized the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit on Wednesday, renewing concerns over a disruption to supplies from the region.
The U.S. said that it is working with Iraq''s leaders on a coordinated response to regain lost territory and would provide additional assistance to Baghdad.
Elsewhere, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, U.S. crude oil for delivery in July tacked on 0.42%, or 43 cents, to trade at $104.87, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $5.04 a barrel.
The spread narrowest to the lowest since April earlier in the week as receding stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for Nymex oil futures, eased concerns over a supply glut.
Weekly supply data released Wednesday showed that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 2.6 million barrels last week to hit a total of 386.9 million. Analysts expected a decline of 1.9 million barrels.
Also Wednesday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would keep its official production target unchanged at 30 million barrels a day in a widely expected decision.
The 12-member group is responsible for approximately 40% of global supply.
Market participants were looking ahead to U.S. data on jobless claims and retail sales later in the trading day, after recent economic reports have indicated that the economy is shaking off the effects of the severe winter.