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article imageOil Prices Continue Climb

By Bob Ewing     Jul 3, 2008 in Business
Oil prices continue to climb with the anticipation they will reach a new high just in time for the United States July 4 celebrations.
One day before the people of the United states celebrate Independence day, the price of oil has reached a new high. Traders were busy taking advantage of the upcoming long weekend.
In addition, the usual suspects are being blamed for the continued increase in the cost of fueling up: a weak U.S. dollar, lower U.S. crude stocks and tension between Israel and major oil producer Iran would push prices to $150 before the close of trade, in line with a prediction made last month.
The price of U.S. crude rose to a high of $145.85 a barrel and was trading $1.88 higher at $145.45 by 6:42 a.m. EDT.
The price of London Brent crude went even higher reaching a peak of $146.69 and was trading $1.97 higher at $146.23.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi was asked at a conference in Madrid whether oil would hit $150, he replied: "If I knew that, I'd be in Las Vegas."
The oil minister has stated that Saudi Arabia would pump more oil if there were demand for it, but that his customers were satisfied and that the market was driven by a range of factors, but not by any lack of supply.
The weakening U.S. dollar once again takes the heat and forecasts predict that it will fall further when the European Central Bank announces what is expected to be its first rate rise in more than a year at 7:45 a.m. EDT, potentially strengthening the euro against the dollar.
The heightened tensions between srael and Iran are also quoted as being a factor in this recent price rise.
The possibility that Israel may launch an attack on Iran's nuclear plans is stirring the speculation.
The concern is that any conflict could disrupt oil shipments from the Gulf through the vital shipping route, the Strait of Hormuz and roughly 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil passes through the Strait.
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