September 23, 2008

Oil Prices Rise Again


A BIG rise in the cost of oil yesterday raised fears it could mean higher petrol prices at the pumps.

Oil leapt by nearly EUR22 a barrel to EUR126.50, up 22 per cent. Chancellor Alistair Darling admitted any prolonged rise could be bad news for the economy.

But petrol retailers urged caution last night, insisting oil prices have been fluctuating throughout the year.

Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers' Association said: "I do not believe this spike in the price of crude will impact on pump prices. In fact, I expect it to have almost disappeared within the next 24 hours. I don't think motorists will see much effect at all.

"It happens with oil from time to time, although this year has been more volatile than ever. The price has been kept falsely high by speculators. Barrels are constantly changing hands."

In a television interview, Mr Darling said: "We have been trying everything to get that oil price coming down. There are going to be ups and downs, but I would hope the price will continue to fall."

News of the higher oil price came amid concerns about the health of the US economy.

There are doubts over how long it will take for Washington's EUR700billion bail-out of the financial system to take effect. President Bush said the world was watching to see if "we can act quickly to shore up our markets".

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