20 Feb '12, 5am

Oil prices jump to 9-month high after Iran cuts supply

(AP) - Oil prices jumped to a nine-month high near US$105 a barrel on Monday in Asia after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in an escalation of a dispute over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear programme. Benchmark crude was up US$1.75 to US$104.99 per barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day, it rose to US$105.21, the highest since May. The contract rose 93 cents to settle at US$103.24 per barrel in New York on Friday. Brent crude was up US$1.52 at US$121.10 per barrel in London. Iran's oil ministry said on Sunday it stopped crude shipments to British and French companies in an apparent pre-emptive blow against the European Union after the bloc imposed sanctions on Iran's crucial fuel exports. They included a freeze of the country's central bank assets and an oil embargo set to b...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Money/Story/STIS...

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