Oil breaks new record at $112 a barrel

The price of oil has reached a new record, topping $112, a week after the US dollar's all-time low of 1.59 to the EUR.


World oil prices touched record highs above 112 US dollars a barrel in Asian trade on Tuesday, boosted by supply concerns and a sluggish greenback, dealers said.

They said market sentiment remained bullish after US government data showed a sharp fall in the country's energy stockpiles.

Reports of a temporary shutdown to repair a small leak in a pipeline that transports oil into the US Midwest also helped to boost prices, analysts said.

In afternoon trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for May delivery, was 33 cents higher at 112.09 dollars a barrel. Earlier Tuesday the contract touched an intraday peak of 112.48 dollars before easing.

The contract closed at a record high of 111.76 dollars at the end of floor trading Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

London's Brent North Sea crude for May delivery was 42 cents higher at 110.26 dollars a barrel, easing slightly after striking an intraday high of 110.45 dollars.

"Oil prices have been firm and it partly reflects the soft tone of the US dollar," said David Moore, a Sydney-based commodity strategist with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

A weak US currency tends to encourage demand for dollar-priced crude because it becomes more affordable for foreign buyers.

The US dollar dived to a fresh low of 1.5913 to the euro last Wednesday and has only partially regained its ground against the European unit.

The euro was stable at 1.5825 dollars on Tuesday.

US energy stockpiles showed an unexpectedly sharp decline in the week ending April 4, according to a report from the US Department of Energy (DoE).

Crude oil stockpiles slumped by 3.2 million barrels and gasoline inventories shed 3.4 million barrels, DoE said.

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