Crude oil sets new price record

December West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark US crude, closed at a record $93.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex). Prices hit $93.8 in intraday trading. In London, Brent crude rose to 89.69 /bbl.

Fears of a supply constriction ahead of the Northern Hemisphere winter have fueled the rise, drawing a fresh wave of speculative money from investors who are also being drawn in by the weak dollar and news of Mexican output disruptions.

Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex shut about one-fifth of its daily output on Sunday due to poor weather.

While some market commentators have pointed to a likely price correction on the horizon, the supply situation, a weak dollar and geopolitical tensions in Nigeria and Northern Iraq continue to keep prices moving towards the upside.

"No market can move in one direction forever," said Mike Fitzpatrick of MF Global’s Energy Risk Management Group. "Periodic price breaks should be expected, but unless recession fears begin to resurface, there should be enough to keep price corrections relatively shallow," he said.

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