30 October 2007

Oil prices continue to rise

Sourced from Al Jazeera News Business Section 

Oil prices have risen to record highs, past $93 a barrel, as stormy weather disrupted supplies from Mexico and the values of the dollar neared record lows.

Pemex, Mexico's state oil company, shut a fifth of the nation's crude production on Monday and halted the majority of exports as storms kept ships in ports across the country.
However, Opec, the oil cartel, attributes the price rise to politics rather than a shortage of crude.

US crude rose 73 cents to $92.59 a barrel by 17:15 GMT, after peaking at a record $93.20. 

London Brent traded up 88 cents to $89.57 a barrel after hitting an all-time high $90 a barrel.
Oil prices have soared by more than a third since August.

A stand-off between Turkey and Kurdish PKK fighters, the weakening US dollar, easing interest rates and winter supply fears have provoked a fresh wave of investment capital.

$100 dollar mark
The US Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meets on October 30-31, and Wall Street is predicting another rate cut as the US housing downturn deepens.
Expectations of a cut have helped push the dollar to record lows against several currencies and boosted the price of dollar-denominated commodities.
Central banks also have poured billions of dollars into financial markets to help ease the credit crisis, and much of that money has been invested in energy, commodities and emerging markets.
Frances Hudson of Standard Life Investments said: "There's huge amount of speculation from hedge funds and others, they are all focused on the $100 barrel mark.
"If volatility decreases significantly, they'd stop playing."
Opec has ignored calls from importer nations to raise crude output.
Abdullah al-Attiyah, Qatar's oil minister, said: "I haven't any signal that there is any shortage of crude... I believe a big portion of the oil price today is related to geopolitics and fear factors, and we cannot solve it."

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