Tuesday, April 18, 2006

trade you a 2004 rookie gloom for a 2005 doomer

Oil Rises to Near Record as Iranian Dispute May Lead to Attacks
April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Oil approached a record $70.85 a barrel in New York on concern that a dispute over Iran's nuclear program may lead to military conflict and disrupt supplies from the world's fourth-largest producer.

``It's the constant talk of attacks and military action that are heightening tensions again and helping push up prices,'' said Gerard Burg, a minerals and energy economist at National Australia Bank Ltd. in Melbourne.

Crude oil for May delivery rose as much as 38 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $70.78 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $70.67 at 2:33 p.m. Singapore time. Yesterday, futures ended at $70.40, the highest closing price since trading started in 1983.

Israel may need to take action to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons, Avigdor Lieberman, who may become the country's internal security minister, said yesterday. Oil has risen 17 percent in the past month, prompting speculation that higher energy prices may stoke inflation and slow economic growth.

Oil, which has more than tripled since the start of 2002, reached an intraday all-time high of $70.85 a barrel on Aug. 30, the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, wrecking pipelines and platforms.

One wonders, reading this, if there is anything left to be said. Meanwhile, on local Seattle radio I overheard a host earnestly complaining about the price of gasoline.

Guess what? It is even more expensive when someone throws a match in.


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