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.
Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
South Korea ferry disaster: Released transcripts show chaos and confusion in the moments before ferry sinks
Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 How We Met: Alison Moyet & Emma Kennedy: 'I knew we'd be friends because she was happy to make a prat of herself'
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Database Team Lead ( Leadership, Sybase, Compute...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET D...
£25000 - £35000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET S...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: Trade Suppor...