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WTI Crude Oil Drops From 14-Month High

July 8 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate declined for the first time in five days amid signs its rally to a 14-month peak were excessive.

Futures dropped as much as 1.1 percent. WTI’s 14-day relative strength index jumped to 72.3 on July 5, indicating crude’s biggest weekly advance since February may have been too steep. Oil rose to a 14-month intraday high earlier today as supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clashed with the military today outside a main security installation in violence that killed at least 40 people, fanning concerns that Middle Eastern supplies could be disrupted.

WTI for August delivery lost as much as $1.09 to $102.13 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $102.62 at 2:02 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 91 percent more than the 100-day average. Earlier prices rose to $104.12, the highest intraday level since May 3, 2012. Prices climbed 6.9 percent last week.

Brent for August settlement slid as much as 88 cents to $106.84 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $4.46 to WTI contracts, from $4.50 on July 5.

While violence erupted in some parts of Egypt, the Suez Canal is “secure” and ship traffic through the waterway is “normal,” Tarek Hassanein, a spokesman for the Suez Canal Authority, said by phone from Ismailia earlier today.

Fifty-five vessels carrying 2.7 million tons of cargo are scheduled to pass through the canal, Hassanein said. “This level is normal or even above normal,” he said.

Egypt controls the Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean Pipeline, through which a combined 2.24 million barrels a day of oil were shipped from the Red Sea to Europe and North America in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Libyan ports and other oil installations have resumed activity, the state-run newsagency LANA reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss on sev@bloomberg.net

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