Oil Prices Hit New Highs

May 18, 2008

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News last week that the government would stop putting money into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and that Saudi Arabia would boost oil output appeared to make no difference to commodities traders as crude oil hit new records Friday.

The price of a barrel of oil rose to a record close of $126.29 on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday, after setting a new intraday trading high of $127.82 a barrel. It was the first time prices topped $127 a barrel, and was the eighth time in 10 days oil prices hit new records, accoding to the Associated Press.

No surprisingly, investment bank Goldman Sachs raised its ol price forecast for the second half of the year to $141 a barrel, up from the previous $107.

News that Saudi Arabia had boosted its oil output by $300,000 barrels a day had no effect; the amount just isn't viewed as large enough to make a difference. President Bush's visit to Saudi Arabia last week did not yield any results; Saudi Arabia sees no shortage in supply and blames high oil prices on speculators.

The announcement from the Energy Department last week that it would stop putting oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a move pushed by trucking organizations, also appeared to have no effect on the market.

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