Crude oil almost at $100

Oil held above $98 a barrel on Wednesday, after closing in on the $100 milestone as the dollar hit new lows and cold weather in the United States, the world's biggest fuel consumer, stirred anxiety over winter supplies.

U.S. light crude surged to a record $99.29 early in the session, but then edged down from this peak to stand at $98.39, up 36 cents at 8:04 a.m. EST. London Brent crude was up 28 cents at $95.77.

Prices blasted past the previous $98.62 record, extending a rally that has lifted oil by 45 percent since mid-August as speculative investment rises, supplies tighten and the dollar weakens.

Oil's strength is in part a result of the weakness of the dollar, which has spurred buying of relatively cheap dollar-denominated commodities.

High oil prices could add to pressures on the fragile U.S. economy, which could ultimately impact demand for oil., Reuters
11/21/2007 6:59:32 AM