Iran General NewsOil tops $69 amid Iran tensions

Oil tops $69 amid Iran tensions

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BBC: Crude oil prices have hit record levels in London amid heightening concerns of a conflict between the US and Iran. BBC

Crude oil prices have hit record levels in London amid heightening concerns of a conflict between the US and Iran.

A barrel of London’s benchmark Brent crude climbed to $69.06, while in New York, light sweet crude was at $69.11.

Analysts have warned that prices could climb higher as geopolitical tensions increase worries that oil supplies will not be able to keep up with demand.

Prices are close to the $70.85 record reached in the US in August following the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

‘Mere mention’

The current round of price surges has been sparked by speculation that the US may attack Iran over its plans to develop nuclear capabilities.

Both the US and key ally the UK have denied the claims, though that has done little to calm fears.

However, the European Union is considering what measures to take against Iran, including sanctions, should Iran continue with its nuclear policy.

Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, says it needs nuclear power to generate electricity, but the US and EU are concerned it wants to develop atomic weapons.

Although the US reiterated on Monday that it was a seeking a diplomatic solution to the row, some investors fear Washington may be running out of patience with Tehran.

“Concern about Iran never ceases to push prices,” said Gerard Burg of National Australia Bank. “The mere mention of it sends prices higher.”

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