Oil Rises to Record


Crude oil rose to a record in New York as a sliding dollar and credit market losses in the U.S. prompted investors to buy commodities.

The dollar dropped to record low against the euro and to the weakest in 12 years versus the yen after the U.S. Federal Reserve reduced the discount rate it charges commercial banks to ``bolster market liquidity.'' The cut spurred gold to a record while Asian stock benchmarks tumbled after Wall Street bank Bear Stearns Cos. sold for less than a 10th of its value last week.

Crude oil for April delivery rose as much as $1.21, or 1.1 percent, to $111.42 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since trading began in 1983. It was at $111.15 at 2:40 p.m. Singapore time.

The April contract expires March 19. The more widely held May contract was at $109.72 a barrel, up 87 cents.

New York oil futures have gained about 15 percent this year as the falling dollar and sliding U.S. equity markets spurred fund managers to invest in commodities. Bullion gained 20 percent the same time.

Brent crude for May settlement rose as much as $1.10, or 1 percent, to $107.30 a barrel on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange. It was at $107.08 at 2:41 p.m. Singapore time. The April contract expired at a record $107.55 a barrel on March 14.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
3/17/2008 6:48:54 AM