Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Oil rises on Middle East tensions

Oil pump, file pic
Oil prices have fallen more than $100 a barrel since July

Crude oil prices have climbed on concerns that Israel's attacks on Hamas could disrupt oil production and threaten supplies from the Middle East.

Light, sweet crude rose $1.22 to $37.89 a barrel in New York, below a session high of $42.20.

Meanwhile London Brent added $1.39 to $38.70 a barrel, after reaching a high of $43.18.

Oil has fallen more than $100 from its peak of $147.27 a barrel on 11 July as slowing economies have dented demand.

"Geopolitics had disappeared from the oil scene for the last couple of months but will regain some price premium with the latest Israeli attack in Gaza," Olivier Jakob, of consultants Petromatrix, said in a research note.

Meanwhile upgraded figures from the US Energy Information Administration showed that US demand in October was down by 833,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a year earlier.

The demand of 19.643 million bpd was 4.07% less than the demand of 20.476 million bpd a year earlier.

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