Concern mounts as oil price nears 120 dollars

SINGAPORE, April 23, 2008 (AFP) – International concern mounted as world oil prices edged closer to 120 dollars a barrel Wednesday and the world’s top producer called for calm.

Analysts said a weakening US dollar, supply worries in Nigeria and the OPEC cartel’s reluctance to increase output have all contributed to the price surge.

New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, rose four cents to 118.11 dollars per barrel.

The May contract expired on Tuesday after closing at a record 119.37 dollars per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange, where it earlier hit an all-time intraday peak of 119.90 dollars.

Global supply jitters have seen oil contracts traded in New York spike by more than 57 dollars in the past year. Price records in New York and London have been broken almost daily over the past week.

Brent North Sea crude for June delivery rose five cents to 116.00 dollars a barrel, after settling at an all-time high of 115.95 dollars on Tuesday in London.

The contract earlier touched a record 116.75 dollars in intraday activity.

“Market sentiment is bullish in the immediate term,” said Victor Shum, senior