NEW YORK, July 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. oil price rose above 100 dollars Wednesday amid growing concerns that the turmoil in Egypt would disrupt oil shipments from Middle East.
U.S. oil price reached a 14-month high as traders worried that protests in Egypt could affect oil production and transport in the Middle East. The Suez Canal and several pipelines made Egypt an important transit route for oil.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery climbed 1.64 dollars, to settle at 101.24 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for August delivery went up 1.76 dollars, to close at 105. 76 dollars a barrel.
The year's largest decline in U.S. crude stockpiles also underpinned oil prices.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday crude supplies fell significantly last week. U.S. crude inventories shrank 10.3 million barrels to 383.8 million barrels for the week ending June 28, surpassing analysts' expectation of a drop of 3 million barrels.
Gasoline supplies declined 1.7 million barrels to 223.7 million barrels. Analysts expected a gain of 1 million barrels. The EIA report also showed that U.S. refineries operated at 92.2 percent of total capacity, up 2 percentage points from the prior week.
On the economic front, U.S. job market showed steady improvement. In the week ending June 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 343,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 348,000, the U. S. Labor Department said Wednesday.
Investors are also keeping an eye on the June non-farm payroll report due Friday, as the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing policy is largely dependent on jobs market improvement.