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Sat, Jun 7th - 8:47AM

Oil Prices jump to $139.12

Oil prices made their biggest-ever jump yesterday after a senior Israeli politician raised the spectre of an attack on Iran and the American dollar fell against the euro.

The fire fuelling oil yesterday produced a second straight day of strong gains on energy markets, adding to suspicions that commodities might be caught in a speculative bubble.

The cost of light, sweet crude for July delivery soared $10.75 (U.S.) a barrel, or almost 8.4 per cent, to $138.54 after earlier hitting $139.12 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures contract had already jumped 5.5 per cent on Thursday, guaranteeing more long faces on drivers at the gas pump.

Even as uncertainties abound about the fundamentals of the oil market, geopolitical tensions in the Middle East regained centre stage yesterday.

Israel's transportation minister, Shaul Mofaz, said an attack on Iran's nuclear sites looked "unavoidable."

Iran is the second-largest oil producer within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and any interruptions in the country's exports could well push prices higher levels.

The weak United States dollar has also helped oil prices take their latest jump. The U.S. currency fell 1.4 per cent against the euro this week and 0.5 per cent versus the yen.

Investors also reacted yesterday to a large Wall Street bank predicting oil prices will spike to $150 a barrel in the next month because of strong demand from Asia.

Morgan Stanley said "an unprecedented share" of Middle East oil exports are headed to Asia.

Some analysts also said that the threat of a strike by Chevron's workers in Nigeria could lead to "considerable" shutdowns of production there. A similar, week-long strike by Exxon Mobil workers last April reduced Nigerian output by 800,000 barrels a day, or nearly a third of the country's exports.

A strike could also delay the start of Chevron’s Agbami project, the country's largest offshore venture. Beginning June 15, the project is scheduled to produce 250,000 barrels a day that may be at risk.

With so many problems affecting supply and ever growing global demand it is no wonder prices are skyrocketing. We predict prices to beat $145 in the next two weeks and we predict $150 by July 4th.

Learn more at Hundred Dollar Oil.




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