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Crude oil surges $6 as stocks plunge
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08:18, September 18, 2008

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Crude oil surged 6 U.S. dollars Wednesday as the deteriorating financial conditions prompted investors to flight to commodities.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery settled at 97.16 dollars a barrel, trading up 6.01 dollars, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The most serious U.S. financial crisis after Sept. 11 attack has prompted investors to flee stock market and flooded into commodities like crude, which is used as safe-haven.

Oil stopped a two-month slide and gained strongly Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced Tuesday night a bridge loan of 85 billion dollars to save the top U.S. insurer American International Group (AIG) in return for a 79.9 percent share. AIG struggled to stay in business after the fourth largest U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers went bankruptcy and third biggest securities firm Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America.

The dollar losing ground against the euro Wednesday helped sending crude futures up too.

Meanwhile, supply concerns contributed to oil's Wednesday price hike. The U.S. Energy Department reported that crude supplies fell6.33 million barrels to 291.7 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 12. The market had predicted the inventory to fall by 3.5 million barrels. And militant attacks of oil operations in Africa's largest oil exporter Nigeria added to investors' concern about tight supply.

In London, Brent crude rallied 5.62 dollars to settle at 94.84 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.


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