Runaway oil prices blew past $130 a barrel for the first time and kept going, while gasoline prices persisted in their own relentless climb, rising above $3.80 a gallon. Supply worries, rising demand and a slumping dollar are conspiring to make filling up the car -- and paying for just about everything else -- a growing burden for Americans.
With gas and oil prices setting new records on a daily basis, many analysts are beginning to wonder whether anything can stop prices from rising. There are technical signals in the futures market, including price differences between near-term and longer-term contracts, that crude may soon fall. But with demand for oil growing in the developing world, and little end in sight to supply problems in producing countries such as Nigeria, few analysts are willing to call an end to crude`s rally.
Oil`s Wednesday rally was fed in part by a report from the Energy Department`s Energy Information Administration, which said crude inventories fell by more than 5 million barrels last week. Analysts had expected a modest increase.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery rose $4.19 to settle at $133.17 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but prices rose as high as $135.04, up $6.06, in after-hours electronic trading. The settlement price marked crude`s largest one-day price advance since March 26.
Images: Copyright Getty. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited