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London Brent crude price hits 8-month high on supply concerns

(Xinhua)

09:20, February 21, 2012

LONDON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The price of Brent crude futures in London reached an eight-month high on Monday amid growing concerns over tensions on Iran's nuclear program and stronger demand from the United States and China.

Brent crude oil futures price increased by 0.62 U.S. dollars, or 0.5 percent, to 120.20 dollars per barrel on Monday, its highest level since June last year.

The rise came after the Iranian Oil Ministry said on Sunday that it had halted oil sales to British and French companies.

European Union member states have agreed earlier to stop importing Iranian crude from July 1, in order to add pressure on Tehran over its controvertial nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, but the International Atomic Energy Agency says it had information suggesting Iran had carried out tests "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device."

Meanwhile, the United States and China have respectively issued their figures on employment and manufacturing sectors, showing positive signs of economic growth, thus projecting a rise of demand for oil by the two leading economies.

Diesel price in Britain also hit a record high on Monday, rising by 10 pence per liter (ppl) in just 12 months. The diesel price has reached 143.05 ppl, according to the Retail Motor Industry Federation.

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