The price of oil jumped to an 11-month high yesterday, moving even closer to record levels hit last summer as fears mounted over shortages in supply.
Brent crude jumped to $77.07 briefly during early-afternoon trading, within $2 of the all-time high of $78.65 set last August.
The market has been jittery all week after the release of the International Energy Agency’s medium-term oil market report warning that demand would increase faster than expected over the next five years while production would struggle to keep up. Traders are nervously awaiting the IEA’s latest monthly report out today, which will give an updated snapshot of global oil demand and stocks.
Investors said hedge funds and pension funds were key drivers behind the latest rally. “This rally is very much fund driven,” said Graham Sharp, director at Trafigura, a commodities trading group. “The entry of long-only hedge funds into the market is a major factor this time around. We wouldn’t rule out Brent hitting $80 this summer.”
And how soon before we hit the magic $100 a barrel?