Oil moves to fresh two-year high

The price of oil hit a fresh 26-month high on Monday as
ministers from producer nations signalled there were no plans to boost output.

US light, sweet crude rose 27 cents to $91.78 in Asia and
London Brent crude rose 44 cents to $94.21.

Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (Opec) said the group was unlikely to meet until June to discuss
production moves.

A blizzard in north-eastern parts of the US has also
pushed prices higher.

However, a Christmas Day interest rate rise in China
prompted some concerns over growth in the country’s fuel demand.

“China’s interest rate hike is having some impact on
the oil markets… because of concerns over how the tightening of monetary
policy will impact demand growth,” said ANZ oil analyst Serene Lim.

Oil prices tumbled by 4% when China last raised interest
rates in mid-October.

But prices quickly recovered and have since rallied by
about 15%, largely driven by the unusually cold weather seen in Europe during
December and the resultant surge in fuel demand.

Some analysts are concerned that such fuel price growth
will push up inflation and hurt global economic growth.

“High oil prices were one of the contributors to the
last global crisis,” said JBC Energy in a report.

“The largest effect of an oil price shock on the
economy occurs around three to four quarters after the price spike.”

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