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Oil price breaks $70 mark as Iran nuke tension simmers
www.chinaview.cn 2006-04-14 14:38:00

     BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhuanet)-- Brent North Sea crude oil was traded at 70.20 dollars a barrel for the first time on Thursday evening due to simmering tensions of Iran nuke issue.

     However Bloomberg News survey shows that crude oil may fall on speculation that surging inventories will reduce the impact of a possible disruption to Iranian exports.

     The price of Brent crude for June delivery jumped 34 cents to reach 70.20 dollars before later falling back slightly to 70.15, an increase of 28 cents from Wednesday's close.

     "We're just in this terrific Bull Run right now, and the worries just steepen," said John Kilduff, analyst at Fimat USA.

     He added that as long as political tensions continue in Iran, crude futures next week are apt to break their previous trading record of 70.85 dollars, reached Aug. 30, 2005, after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf coast.

     While Bloomberg News survey shows that 26 of 52 analysts, traders and brokers, or 50 percent, said prices will decline next week, 17, or 33 percent, forecast an increase and nine expected little change.

     "Prices are reflecting geopolitics while inventories remain at historical highs," said Andrew Harrington, an industry analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney. "Barring any new developments in Iran, prices should drift downward."

     Brent has been striking record high points since Monday also on market concerns that the U.S. might launch military strikes at uranium facilities in Iran.

     In Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, no oil exports have been disrupted, but some market participants are worried they might be, depending on the U.N. Security Council's response to the Iran's defiance of council resolutions concerning its nuclear program.

     The United Nations has given Iran until the end of April to shut down its nuclear program.  Enditem

(Agencies)

Editor: Han Lin
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