Oil reaches a nine-month high

ALINA VASIESCU (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
Ziarul BURSA #English Section / 20 februarie 2012

On the American market, the price of oil rose above 103 dollars barrel, after rising 4.6% last week

On Friday, the price of crude rose to a9-month high on the energy exchange in New York, amid the first signs of improvement of the American economy and of the optimism concerning the second bailout package for Greece.

The price of West Texas Intermediate with March delivery rose 0.9% on Friday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, to 103.24 dollars - the highest closing price since May 10th, 2011. Last week, the price of cruse rose 4.6% on the US market, making it the largest rise since December 23rd.

On the ICE Futures Europe of London, the price of Brent crude with April delivery fell 0.4%, to 119.58 dollars barrel. On Friday, price exceeded 120 dollars, reaching 120.70 dollars/barrel, the highest level since June 15th, but subsequently began to slide.

Aside from the positive data published in the USA last week, which concern the forecasts for the next six-months, the state of the labor market and of the construction market, the oil market is also being affected by the worries over the volume of oil delivered by Iran.

In the analysts' opinion, the price of oil may rise this week, as investors are worried that the Iranian oil exports could be disrupted by the tensions between Tehran and the Western countries, over Iran's nuclear program.

It bears reminding that last week, a state owned press agency of Iran announced that the country would cease its exports of oil to six EU countries, in response to the embargo which the European block is preparing against Iran starting with July 1st, but the information was denied by the Oil Ministry in Tehran.

Iran is the second largest oil maker in the OPEC, with a volume of 4 million barrels a day.