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Will the New Year bring three-figure oil prices?

*CNNMoney, January 2, 2008

“Oil pushes to $100

Oil prices kicked off the first trading day of 2008 by hitting a new high of $100 a barrel Wednesday on violence in oil-rich Nigeria, the prospect of more interest rate cuts, a halt in Mexican imports and the expectation of yet another drop in U.S. crude supplies.

U.S. crude for February delivery jumped $4.02 to $100 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The previous trading record was $99.29 set Nov. 20. Oil prices ended 2007 by gaining nearly 60 percent for the year, the largest jump this decade.

‘This market is really gonna fly,’ Ira Eckstein, president of Area International Trading Corp, said from the NYMEX floor.

In Nigeria, bands of armed men invaded Port Harcourt, the center the oil industry Tuesday, attacking two police stations and raiding the lobby of a major hotel, The Associated Press reported. Four policemen, three civilians and six attackers were killed. The Niger Delta Vigilante Movement claimed responsibility for the attack.

A surprise fall in manufacturing activity sparked fears of yet another interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve. Interest rate cuts generally cause the dollar to fall – and oil prices rise – as investors bail out of U.S. equities and into commodities.”

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