Oil prices were close to $109 in Asian trade on Wednesday, underpinned by the United States dollar's dive to a new low against the euro and supply concerns, dealers said. In late morning trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, traded briefly at $108,90 a barrel, up 15 cents from its record closing high of $108,75 on Tuesday.
The price of New York crude oil hit an all-time high point of $103,05 per barrel on Friday owing to record weakness of the dollar, but then fell back, traders said. And the price of gold reached an historic peak of $976,32 per ounce. "This was part of a broad-based commodities run based on the continued weakness of the dollar," said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) on Friday lowered its projections for growth of oil demand this year in response to a slowdown in world economic momentum. Opec, in its February report, said demand would likely grow by 1,43% this year rather than its previously estimated 1,52%.
The world oil market could be set for a lengthy slowdown, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, signalling a sharp shift in the climate that pushed the oil price to $100 last month. "Just as the demand shock of 2004 shaped the oil market for the next three years, so too could the pending slowdown," the IEA said in its monthly review of oil trends.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) left unchanged its oil-production ceiling on Friday, snubbing United States demands for an increase as the cartel focuses on supporting prices that have fallen 10% since the start of the year. Explaining its decision, Opec said that stockpiles of crude were likely to increase in the first half of 2008.
World oil prices eased further from the historic $100-a-barrel level on Monday after weak US employment data fanned worries about recession and demand in the world's biggest energy consumer, dealers said. In afternoon trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, was 71 cents lower at $97,20 a barrel.
World oil prices fell on Friday after a momentous week that saw record peaks close to $100 as traders worried about tight energy supplies and geopolitical jitters in key producer countries. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, sank 95 cents to $96,34 per barrel. The contract had hit an historic $99,29 on Wednesday.
A monster offshore oil discovery could help Brazil join the ranks of the world's major exporters, but full-scale extraction is unlikely until 2013 and will be very expensive. The "ultra-deep" Tupi field off the coast of Rio de Janeiro could hold as much as eight billion barrels of recoverable light crude.
Oil prices jumped to fresh historic highs on Monday, breaching $93 for the first time on mounting concerns about tight energy supplies worldwide, analysts said. Investors pushed up crude futures to new peaks as more bad news in the shape of Mexican production cutbacks came on top of already serious tensions in the Middle East.
World oil prices surged to historic highs on Friday, breaching $92 for the first time in New York amid rising tension in crude-rich Iran and tightening United States energy supplies. New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, soared to a record intraday high of $92,22 per barrel.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) voiced concern on Tuesday over oil's relentless rise towards $88 a barrel, but some members said the exporter group can do nothing more to control the rally. Opec agreed last month to raise production by 500 000 barrels per day from November 1.
Oil prices topped 81 dollars a barrel for the first time on Tuesday, setting another record high amid fears of critically tight supplies for the winter season in the United States. Opec's announcement last week that it would pump an extra 500 000 barrels per day from November has failed to stop the surge in price.
Oil hit a record high of nearly $79 a barrel on Wednesday, after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries's (Opec) modest output increase failed to allay winter supply concerns and ahead of United States inventory data. US light crude for October delivery set a record high of $78,99 a barrel.
United States President George Bush, who reportedly once told aides he dislikes the "small talk in big rooms" of summitry, seemed not entirely sure on Friday which world leader gathering was going. Opening the keynote speech of his visit to Sydney, Bush thanked Australian Prime Minister John Howard "for being such a fine host for the Opec summit'.