Oil prices at nine month high after Iran dispute
Monday 20 February 2012
Oil prices jumped to nearly 105 dollars a barrel - a nine-month high - in Asia today, after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in a dispute over its nuclear programme.
Benchmark crude was up 1.75 to 104.99 dollars a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day it rose to 105.21, the highest since May. The contract rose 93 cents to settle at 103.24 a barrel in New York on Friday.
Brent crude was up 1.52 at 121.10 dollars a barrel in London.
Iran's oil ministry said yesterday it stopped crude shipments to British and French companies in an apparent pre-emptive blow against the European Union after the bloc imposed sanctions on Iran's crucial fuel exports. They included a freeze of the country's central bank assets and an oil embargo set to begin in July.
Iran's oil minister Rostam Qassemi had warned earlier this month that Tehran could cut off oil exports to “hostile” European nations. The 27-nation EU accounts for about 18% of Iran's oil exports.
The EU sanctions along with other punitive measures imposed by the US are part of Western efforts to derail Iran's disputed nuclear program, which the West fears is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran denies the charges, and says its programme is for peaceful purposes.
Oil prices were also boosted by China's decision to boost money supply in a bid to spur lending and economic growth. China's central bank said on Saturday it would lower the ratio of funds that banks must hold as reserves, a move that frees tens of billions of dollars.
Oil has jumped from 96 dollars earlier this month amid optimism the global economy may grow more this year than previously expected. JP Morgan raised its Brent crude price forecast to as high as 135 from 120 dollars.
“Building economic momentum has the potential to pull oil prices higher for the next 12 to 24 months,” JP Morgan said in a report.
In other energy trading, heating oil added 0.6 cents to 3.22 dollars a gallon and petrol futures rose 1.4 cents to 3.22 dollars a gallon. Natural gas jumped 9.2 cents to 2.66 dollars per 1,000 cubic feet.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Isis video purports to show beheadings and execution at gunpoint of 30 Ethiopian Christians and destruction of churches in Libya
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...