Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 18:05 UK

Oil price resumes its record run

An oil price protester near Manila
High oil prices prompted protests in the Philippines at the weekend

Oil prices have set another record high, picking up from last week, when the record was broken every day.

Light sweet crude for June delivery hit $126.40 a barrel in New York, before falling back to trade below $125.

The weak US dollar and growing concerns about supplies of oil have been blamed for the six sessions of soaring prices.

The oil price only topped $100 a barrel at the start of this year, and the rise since then has led to predictions that the commodity could hit $200.

Supply disruption

Earlier in the day, oil prices had fallen on news from China that showed its crude imports fell 3.9% in April compared with the same month last year.

"We sold off on the Chinese import data, which suggested prices at these levels are weighing on demand," said Eric Wittenauer at AG Edwards.

"Time and again, this highly resilient market has sold off only to recover and hit new highs."

In recent weeks, oil prices have been pushed higher by supply disruption in Iraq, Nigeria and the UK's North Sea, and strong demand from China, which is buying crude to feed its economic boom.

At the same time, concerns about the US economy and a weak US dollar have prompted many investors to move their cash from assets such as stocks and currencies, and into commodities such as oil.

Producers cartel Opec, which supplies 40% of the world's oil, has refused to call an early meeting to discuss the current high oil price, insisting supply and demand fundamentals are balanced.

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