NEW YORK — Oil nearly reached $100 a barrel for the first time this year, as traders worried about disruptions to Mideast supplies while anticipating an increase in oil demand in the U.S.
Benchmark crude for August delivery gained $1.61, or 1.6 percent, to close at $99.60 a barrel in New York after rising as high as $99.87. Oil last crossed $100 a barrel on Sept. 14 of last year.
Protests in Egypt continued as President Mohammed Morsi faced a military ultimatum that gives him until Wednesday to meet the demands of the millions who have taken to the streets seeking his ouster. Traders were concerned that the situation in Egypt, as well as and the civil war in Syria, could affect the production and transport of oil supplies in the Middle East and North Africa.
Traders are also awaiting the Energy Department’s weekly report on U.S. stockpiles of crude oil on Wednesday. Data for the week ending June 28 is expected to show a draw of 3 million barrels in crude oil stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.