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Oil prices plunge on strengthening dollar
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08:52, June 04, 2008

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Crude futures plunged Tuesday on a strengthening dollar after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said more rate cuts are unlikely.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery dropped 3.45 U.S. dollars to settle at 124.31 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, lowest settle price since May 15. Crude prices continued to fall below 124 dollars a barrel in the after-hour electronic trading.

Bernanke indicated in a speech on Tuesday that further rate cuts are unlikely, which immediately shored up the dollar against the euro and other major currencies. Many investors who have bought oil as a hedge against inflation sold on Bernanke's comment.

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing Tuesday, trying to find out the prime mover behind the rising oil prices which hit a all-time peak of 135.09 dollars a barrel on May 22. The billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros told the committee that oil prices show signs of a bubble, but have "strong fundamental factors."

In London, Brent crude for July delivery fell 3.44 dollars to 124.58 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Source: Xinhua



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