Commodities Climb to Highest Since August as Oil Rallies on Iraq

Commodities rose to a nine-month high as crude advanced after a government report showed U.S. inventories shrank and amid concern that violence in Iraq will disrupt supplies from OPEC’s second-largest producer.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials increased as much as 0.3 percent to 665.5475, the highest level since Aug. 29. The gauge added 2.4 percent this month and was at 665.3918 by 12:44 p.m. Singapore time today. West Texas Intermediate oil climbed as much as 0.5 percent in New York.

Islamist militants battled Iraq’s military for control of the Baiji oil refinery, the country’s biggest, as President Barack Obama told top U.S. lawmakers that he won’t need additional congressional approval for the options he’s considering in response to the crisis.

“The crude market is telling us the importance of Iraq,” Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities, said today by phone from Sydney. “The concerns are smoldering and that keeps oil up.”

WTI for July delivery, which expires tomorrow, increased as much as 57 cents to $106.54 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before trading at $106.51.

Crude stockpiles in the U.S. fell by 579,000 barrels last week, a third consecutive drop, the Energy Information Administration said yesterday.

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