The average day rate for modern VLCCs, used to ship crude and petroleum products, has risen 69% to $30,759 since tensions flared in the strait earlier this month, according to Jefferies Financial Group Inc. JEF 0.00% West Texas Intermediate futures for August deliver gained 0.8% to $57.90 a barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a three-week high. Brent crude, the global benchmark, declined 0.5% to $64.86 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. The $6.96 difference between the two prices is the slimmest it has been since April. The spread is even narrower between Brent and a widely cited price set in Houston, though at a few dollars it remains enough to entice buyers to make the trip to U.S. waters, said RBC analyst Michael Tran. “If you don’t have to buy a barrel that comes through the Strait of Hormuz you’re certainly inclined to do so,” […]