BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Crude oil prices climbed nearly 1 dollar a barrel in U.S. Tuesday after a letter from Iranian president to his U.S. counterpart failed to move the two countries closer to an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program.
Crude for June delivery settled up 92
cents to 70.69 dollars on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, June
Brent crude gained 87 cents to 71.08 dollars.
"The market has absorbed the Iranian letter and is discounting the whole thing," said a NYMEX floor trader.
On Monday, a letter from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to U.S. President George W. Bush proposing "new solutions" to the tension eased market worries slightly, causing the price of Nymex crude to fall as low as 68.25 dollars.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice swiftly rejected the letter on Tuesday.
"This letter is not the place that one would find an opening to engage on the nuclear issue or anything of the sort," Rice said in an interview with AP. "It isn't addressing the issues that we're dealing with in a concrete way."
The U.S. Energy Department said Tuesday that with little evidence of a significant increase in global supplies, "crude oil prices will remain high through 2007."
The agency also forecast an average U.S. retail gasoline price of 2.71 dollars a gallon, an increase of 9 cents a gallon from its April forecast. Last summer, pump prices averaged 2.37 dollars a gallon. Enditem