Crude oil prices rose to a new record above $99 a barrel in Asian trading Wednesday, lifted by worries about inadequate supplies as the Northern Hemisphere enters winter and on news of refinery problems.
The declining US dollar and speculation that the US Federal Reserve will again cut interest rates also boosted prices. Some investors put their money into oil contracts, betting that gains in their price will offset dollar weakness.
"The market is now really looking at $100 a barrel as the next target to hit," said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. "The fact that we are having this surge in pricing in this short trading week underscores the strength of this bull run for oil."
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