Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crude Oil Set for Biggest Annual Gain in Decade Amid Iran Political Unrest

Crude oil was little changed, heading for its biggest annual gain in a decade, on forecasts that U.S. stockpiles are narrowing while unrest in Iran sows concerns supply will be disrupted. U.S. crude inventories likely fell by 1.85 million barrels last week, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News before an Energy Department report due today at 10:30 a.m. in Washington. Iran, holder of the world’s second largest crude reserves, detained about 1,000 people after the biggest anti- government demonstrations in six months.

“Stocks are showing the market is getting towards a more balanced situation, though it will take time,” said Alexandra Kogelnig, a consultant with JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna. “Tensions in Iran are always a factor even if there is nothing immediately happening, as if something major happens it will affect exports.” Crude oil for February delivery was at $78.73 a barrel, 14 cents lower in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as of 12:57 p.m. London time. It earlier rose as much as 32 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $79.19 a barrel. Futures are set for a 77 percent gain this year, the biggest since 1999. Prices have tripled in the past decade.....Read the entire article.

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